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WHEREAS, Virginia has significant natural, historical, and cultural resources stretching from the western mountains of the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean along the Eastern Shore; and
WHEREAS, Virginians have outstanding opportunities to experience safe and healthy fun in the Commonwealth’s great outdoors in the company of family and friends; and
WHEREAS, Virginia is home to Shenandoah National Park, The Appalachian Trail, The George Washington & Jefferson National Forests, 28 State Parks, 46 Wildlife Management Areas, 24 State Forests and many other natural areas ideal for enjoying the great outdoors; and
WHEREAS, camping, biking, swimming, hiking, climbing, paddling, fishing, hunting, boating, and many other activities help us enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of outdoor recreation; and
WHEREAS, the economic impact of outdoor recreation is both large and growing nationally, and it produces $734 billion in gross output and accounts for 2.2% of GDP according to the federal government; and
WHEREAS, Virginia’s great outdoors has an estimated economic impact of more than $21.9 billion, and supports nearly 200,000 jobs; and
WHEREAS, enjoyment of the great outdoors allows us to celebrate the commitment of our Commonwealth to conserving and protecting our air, water, wildlife, and land; and
WHEREAS, many of the Commonwealth’s most important cultural and historic events and traditions are preserved by Virginia’s national, state, and local parks; and
WHEREAS, Great Outdoors Month is an opportunity to acknowledge the successful partnership of federal, state, and local agencies, the recreation and tourism industries, and recreationists, and to celebrate the many recreational opportunities available to citizens;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize June 2019 as GREAT OUTDOORS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.