Press Release

New Public Service Advertising from U.S. Forest Service and Ad Council to Encourage Families to Reconnect with Nature Launches in Advance of National Get Outdoors Day on June 14th

Discover the Forest PSA Campaign Partners with Key Environmental and Nature Experts to Promote #ForestFriday Throughout the Summer
New Public Service Advertising from U.S. Forest Service and Ad Council to Encourage Families to Reconnect with Nature Launches in Advance of Nationa...

June 13, 2014, Washington D.C.  — In an effort to motivate parents and tweens (ages 8-12) to spend more time outdoors and reconnect with nature, the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council launched today a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) as an extension of their Discover the Forest campaign in advance of the 7th annual National Get Outdoors Day on Saturday, June 14th, 2014.

“These new PSAS seek to get kids and families out to enjoy the wonders of our nation’s forests,” said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. “With busy family schedules and technology capturing more of children's time these days, activities such as hiking, camping and fishing are not as common. The physical, mental and spiritual benefits our great outdoors provide are more important now than ever.”

More than 245 million Americans live within 100 miles of a national forest or grassland but studies show that many families aren’t taking advantage of these natural resources. According to research done by Euro RSCG, 88 percent of children today say they like being in nature, and 79 percent wish they could spend more time there. Additionally, children who play outside have lower stress levels and more active imaginations, become fitter and leaner, develop stronger immune systems and are more likely to become environmentally conscious in the future.

“Many families are unaware of the benefits that nature provides children, including improving their physical and mental health and emotional well-being,” said Peggy Conlon, president & CEO of the Ad Council. “Through these PSAs we’re thrilled to continue our work with the U.S. Forest Service to explain these benefits to families and encourage them to spend active time outdoors.”

The new PSAs are an extension of the Discover the Forest campaign first launched by the U.S. Forest Service and Ad Council in 2009. Created pro bono by Burrell Communications, this year’s PSAs target parents and caregivers of tweens and show parents that first-hand experiences in nature are an essential part of a child’s upbringing. Through TV, radio, outdoor and digital media PSAs, the campaign brings to life the joy and excitement kids have when they discover the wonders of nature. Through these unique experiences, tweens feel connected to nature, ultimately creating a lifelong interest in spending time with nature and a legacy of stewardship.

The new PSAs were launched to coincide with National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day) on June 14th, which will include a series of events offering traditional and nontraditional outdoor activities across the nation. The events include special guests like Smokey Bear and Woodsy Owl, and offer free admissions to our national forests so families can experience activities like fishing, canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, biking, horseback riding and archery.

“Today’s parents are constantly looking for ways to reconnect with their kids.” said Lewis Williams, Burrell Chief Creative Officer. “The forest is the perfect place to unplug and spend quality time experiencing something new and different together.”

A series of outdoors, nature and environmental influencers and experts are joining with the Discover the Forest campaign to promote the benefits of time spent in nature by participating in #ForestFriday. Launching today and continuing on each Friday throughout the summer the participants will share inspirational images of the forest and activate conversations about forest activities on their social platforms and websites. Partners include Project Learning Tree, National Wildlife Federation, American Forests, the National Environmental Education Foundation, Fodor’s Travel, the World Forestry Center and the National Forest Foundation.

These efforts will be supported through the campaign website,www.DiscovertheForest.org, which includes interactive games, a list of activity ideas and a convenient forest locator, powered by Nature Find™ and GoogleMaps, allowing users to find the forest or park closest to them. The campaign also has a corresponding Facebook pageInstagram handle and Twitter account, where you can further explore the beauty of the forest and the health benefits associated with spending time outside.

U.S. Forest Service:
The U.S. Forest Service (www.fs.fed.us) manages 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands for the American Public. Its mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The U.S. Forest Service is the agency responsible for overseeing the use of Smokey Bear in cooperation with the National Association of State Foresters and The Advertising Council.

About the Ad Council
The Ad Council is a private, non-profit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver critical messages to the American public. Having produced thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has affected, and continues to affect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit www.adcouncil.org, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or view our PSAs onYouTube.

Burrell:
Burrell Communications Group is one of the nation’s leading marketing communications agencies specializing in the African American consumer market. The agency has created brand-building advertising, digital, public relations and engagement strategies and campaigns that connect with and motivate consumers for more than 42 years. In addition to its Chicago headquarters, Burrell has offices in Atlanta and Los Angeles serving a blue-chip client roster including Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s, Toyota, Comcast, American Airlines and General Mills. In 1999, the agency formed a strategic alliance with Paris-based Publicis SA, the world’s third largest agency network.

Press Contacts:
U.S. Forest Service
Press Office
202-205-1134

The Ad Council
Meg Rushton
212-984-1996
mrushton@adcouncil.org

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