In observance of National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day) scheduled for June 9 Wayne National Forest is hosting Play Outside Weekend (POW) throughout the Marietta Unit of the Athens Ranger District to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun. Activities start the evening of June 8 and run through the morning of June 10.
On Saturday, Leith Run Recreation Area, located just south of Frontier High School, south of New Matamoras along the Ohio River Scenic Byway, will be the center of most of the planned activities. A complete list of events and locations are available on the forest website at www.fs.usda.gov/wayne.
Participating partners will offer opportunities for area families to experience traditional and non-traditional types of outdoor activities. This GO Day event will offer a mix of information centers and "active fun" areas-places where guests, and especially kids, can experience night sky viewing with telescopes, archery, fishing, biking, and horseback riding to name a few. Photo opportunities with Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl will be provided.
As part of the weekend event, Leith Run Campground will offer fee-free camping June 8-10. Reservations can be made online at www.recreation.gov. A limited number of campsites are available for families to reserve in order to attend POW by calling the Marietta office at 740-373-9055.
The pilot effort of National Get Outdoors Day was launched on June 14, 2008, and has grown every year. Building on the success of More Kids in the Woods and other important efforts to connect Americans-and especially children-with nature and active lifestyles, the USDA Forest Service (FS) and the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) led an inclusive, nationwide effort focusing on a single day when people would be inspired and motivated to get outdoors.
Last year, over 117 official GO Day sites across the nation from Kingman Island in Washington, D.C., to the Big Bear Discovery Center in the San Bernardino National Forest welcomed tens of thousands of new faces to the joy and benefits of the great outdoors.
GO Day is an outgrowth of the Get Outdoors USA! campaign, which encourages Americans, especially youth, to seek out healthy, active outdoor lives and embrace parks, forests, refuges, and other public lands and waters. Working with the FS, Get Outdoors USA! hosted six recreation forums in early 2007 and learned that public lands were missing the right triggers to capture the attention of today's youth.