On June 1, 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama launched the Let's Move Outside! initiative, a new component of her Let’s Move! campaign. Designed to support President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative that had been announced two months previously, Let's Move Outside! promotes outdoor physical activity for families and children.1 This new emphasis on outdoor activities came after research linked children's overall health with their time in nature.2
Administered through the Department of the Interior, Let's Move Outside! also partners with the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the Department of Agriculture's U.S. Forest Service. It supports the Fish and Wildlife Service's own Let's Go Outside initiative and the National Park Service Junior Rangers program. Twenty parks launched their Let's Move Outside Junior Ranger programs in mid-June of 2010 with thirty more by that summer's end.3
These national partners work with state, local, and tribal governments as well as community organizations to find local solutions for expanding participation in outdoor activities. One solution is the National Get Outdoors Day, or GO Day, that is celebrated nationally on June 11th, but planned locally.4 They also provide tools and information for parents to facilitate families being active outdoors and encouraging outdoor play.
When launching the Let's Move Outside! campaign, First Lady Michelle Obama summarized their mission: “Our overall goal … is to really get our kids active so that they make it a habit of moving around and seeing the activity they need not as a chore but as a fun way to explore our country and to do some things they haven't done.”5
- 1. “News Release: Let's Move Outside!” Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior. < http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/Lets-Move-Outside.cfm# > 22 June 2011.
- 2. Lipman, Suz. “First Lady Says Let's Move...Outside!” Field Notes from the Future. 28 May 2010. < http://www.childrenandnature.org/blog/2010/05/28/first-lady-says-lets-move-outside/ > 22 June 2011.
- 3. “Press Release: First Lady Michelle Obama Asks Junior Rangers to Take it Outside at Our National Parks.” U.S. Department of the Interior. < http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/First-Lady-Michelle-Obama-Asks-Junior-Rangers-to-Take-It-Outside-at-Our-National-Parks.cfm > 22 June 2011.
- 4. “Let's Move Outside and Coast To Coast National GO Day Events.” Let's Move Blog. < http://www.letsmove.gov/blog/2011/06/21/let%E2%80%99s-move-outside-and-coast-coast-national-go-day-events > 22 June 2011.
- 5. Suh, Rhea. “Let's Move Outside! At Red Rock Canyon.” The White House Blog. 2 June 2010. < http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2010/06/02/lets-s-move-outside-red-rock-canyon > 22 June 2011.