OUR NATIONAL TREASURE AT RISK
In an on-going search for relief from the stress of every day life, Americans have "gone back to nature" seeking recreation and relaxation. Each year over 254 million people (87% of the US Population) enjoy the wonders of the American outdoors at our national and state parks, green spaces, and open areas. This return to nature has sparked a boom in the outdoor recreation industry contributing $250 billion to the economy and employing 786,000 people full-time.
The rediscovery of the American outdoors has come at a price, however. Industry has followed Americans back to nature harvesting natural resources. The expansion and construction of facilities and amenities, along with careless planning, have also destroyed once pristine and natural areas.
• Each day Americans consume over 4.28 square miles of rural land (American Farmland Trust 99) to development and urban sprawl: some estimates are as much as 9 square miles per day.
• A child born today in the U.S., by the age of 75, will produce 52 tons of garbage, consume 10 million gallons of water and use five times the energy of a child born in the developing world. (National Wildlife Federation)
• The U.S. accounts for half of all the carbon dioxide emissions produced by western industrialized nations - a leading cause of global warming. (World Wildlife Fund: August 99)
Clearly, our newfound love for nature has unintentionally put the Great American Outdoors - our natural treasure - at risk.
Understanding this risk, DAYS IN THE Countrysm seeks to preserve our national treasure and channel appreciation of nature into responsible land usage and conservation practices.
A NEW CONCEPT
DAYS IN THE Countrysm will bring together the users of the land with the conservers of the land in a fun atmosphere of participation and learning. This innovative event will be held annually. . .when it is established it will be taken to communities throughout the United States.
There will be exhibitions, displays, and interactive events, including a major consumer fair of more than 400 booths of products connected with outdoor recreation and country life.
Over twenty activity "villages" encompassing more than eighty outdoor recreational pursuits will be created. Around each of these will be located the conservation and educational booths relevant to the theme of the "village."
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Every day will offer more than twenty Activity "Villages" with outdoor sports displays, exhibitions and participatory events show-casing outdoor life.
Each day will also be given special focus such as:
• School Children's Day in the Country
• Land Conservers' and Land Users' Day in the Country
• Family Day in the Country
• A Sporting Day in the Country
A SAMPLE OF ACTIVITIES: