NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contacts: Janelle Smith, Graciela Cabello
janellesmith@fs.fed.us | 720-2020-9029, graciela@latinooutdoors.org | 805-203-6679
US Forest Service | Recreation.gov Latino Outdoors

Recreation.gov and Latino Outdoors Announce Partnership
During National Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15, 2015 – Recreation.gov and Latino Outdoors will celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15) by kicking off a partnership to highlight the great work by many within the Latino(a) community who dedicate themselves to connecting Latino culture, or “cultura” and community to the outdoors.

“Recreation.gov, the flagship of the Recreation One Stop program, represents the desire of all of its partner agencies to help people connect to public lands and waters throughout the country,” said Rick DeLappe, Recreation One Stop program manager. “By working with Latino Outdoors, we can bring more attention to a network of conservation-minded explorers who share their passion for the outdoors. Their stories are contagious – inspiring stewardship and exploration of our federal lands and waterways.”

“Our goal is to encourage members of our community, especially any who have experienced the Great Outdoors for the first time, to share their stories of a particularly challenging hike, seeing wildlife at a refuge, or maybe what it felt like to sleep in a tent for the first time,” said Jose Gonzalez, Founder of Latino Outdoors. “By telling our stories, the community helps define what it means to have a Latino(a) identity in relation to the outdoors. Stories have power and they say many things about the cultural traditions and values we hold—especially our love and connections with our open spaces. We are excited about this campaign with Recreation.Gov, stemming from a partnership with Active Network earlier this year, and part of a larger strategic alliance, to work together to identify and increase Latino engagement in the outdoors. Both partnerships allow us to amplify our storytelling and demonstrate the diversity of engagement in our public lands and outdoor recreation.”

Beginning September 15, Recreation.gov will feature experiences from volunteer Latino Outdoor Ambassadors from across the country. Visitors will also be encouraged to join Recreation.gov through Facebook and Instagram and share stories, photos or videos of their outdoor experiences using #LatinoOutdoors.

“Launching this partnership for National Hispanic Heritage Month provides a platform to reflect upon and inspire us to discover and enjoy the cultural influences from long ago to the present—and recognize this multi-cultural heritage as the unifying fabric of this country,” said DeLappe.

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Recreation One-Stop is a recreation trip-planning, reservation and information sharing platform for the nation’s federal lands. Visitors to Recreation.gov can reserve campgrounds, apply for river permits, schedule a tour, discover points-of-interest near major cities, learn about destinations, and so much more. The Recreation One-Stop program is a joint initiative among federal agency partners including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, National Archives and Records Administration, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

With roots in the past, a presence in the present and vision for the future, Latino Outdoors is a network of leaders committed to engaging Latinos/as in the outdoors, connecting familias and youth with nature, and empowering our community of storytellers to explore and share their personal experiences. Our growing online platform allows participants to creatively document their cultural connections to conservation, the environment, and the Great American Outdoors with the world.

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