GRF CoverGovernment Recreation & Fitness

Highlights of the February 2013 Issue

Outdoor Recreation Soaring
at Fairchild AFB


Recreation at Fairchild AFB, Wash., offers something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a quiet day out in nature or some high-adventure, high-adrenaline activities, airmen and their families can take advantage of a wide array of programs and trips, and have access to an impressive cache of recreation equipment and supplies at the base Equipment Checkout facility.

The Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP) provides opportunities such as kayaking, rock climbing, rappelling, whitewater rafting, hunting, fishing, skiing, horseback riding and canoeing, as well as unique trips to exciting locations in Washington and beyond.

“Our program teams up with many units on base to provide adventure trips and programs to include Airmen Family Ministry, Single Airmen's Program, Youth Programs and multiple squadron trips and classes,” says Outdoor Recreation Director Damian Smith. “For Fiscal 2013, we have geared up a participant survey to question our population on their adventure desires. There is a multitude of funding coming available for 'out-of-the-box' thinking in the realm of adventure activities. With RecOn, the Single Airmen Program initiative and PLAYPass funding, it is essential for us to dial in to what airmen and their families truly want to see available. We do surveys about once every couple of years as trends in Outdoor Recreation participation seem to ebb and flow consistently.” ...

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Army Striving for Sustainable Future


The Army continues to make great strides with its Net Zero Installation Strategy to create “Net Zero” installations worldwide by fiscal 2030. By focusing on five main areas of sustainability — reduction; repurpose; recycling and composting; energy recovery; and disposal — net zero installations will consume only as much energy or water as they produce and eliminate solid waste to landfills.

The office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment (ASA (IE&E)) developed a strategy for installations to be net zero, based on “net zero energy,” “net zero water” and “net zero waste,” all striving toward sustainable installations. The Army hopes to create a culture that recognizes the value of sustainability measures in terms of financial, mission capability, quality of life, local community relationships and preserving the Army's future options.

In 2011, the Army chose pilot installations to begin the initiative, including net zero energy installations, net zero water installations, and net zero waste installations, with two integrated net zero installations (meeting energy, water and waste goals). These pilot installations are working to achieve net zero by 2020, and will become the centers of energy and environmental excellence, showcasing best practices and demonstrating effective resource management. The ASA (IE&E) will then identify an additional 25 installations in each category in FY14, who will strive to achieve net zero by FY30....

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Federal Programs Aim to Reconnect Americans with Nature


As the U.S. struggles to combat inactivity and obesity — and the growing chasm between children and nature — the federal government is taking important measures to provide easier access to the great outdoors. These efforts aim to create more opportunities for Americans to reconnect with nature, and to get outside and start recreating.

The Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation (FICOR) supports and enhances outdoor recreation access and opportunities on federal public lands, waters and shores. FICOR also promotes coordination and collaboration among federal agencies, whose missions or programs include providing outdoor recreation amenities or opportunities and conserving or managing natural and cultural resources used or visited for outdoor recreation.

As part of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors (AGO) Initiative, a Memorandum of Understanding to establish FICOR was signed in 2011, with the support of the Departments of Interior, Health and Human Services (HHS), Agriculture (USDA), Commerce and the Army, as well as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

“With the outdoor industry contributing an estimated $730 billion to the U.S. economy, outdoor recreation is a vital part of growing our nation's economy and creating jobs,” says Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior. “The Federal Interagency Council on Outdoor Recreation will help achieve the goals of the America's Great Outdoors initiative to reconnect Americans — especially our young people — to the natural world. By ensuring the federal government is coordinating its policies and programs with our state, local and tribal partners, we can better fuel our nation's spirit of adventure and economy.” ...

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Fort Jackson Provides A Place for Man's Best Friend


Dog parks are growing in popularity throughout the Army, with many installations opening new parks over the past few years in an effort to meet the demand of pet owners, who are desperate for safe, open spaces to exercise and bond with their dogs.

Fittingly, the idea for the new dog park at Fort Jackson, S.C., which opened last summer, was born from the voices of the post community.

“The dog park was sorely needed — we even had a petition from the community outlining the need for the park on post,” notes Fort Jackson Outdoor Recreation Director Mark Smyers. “So when it came time to make the case for the project to leadership, it was tough to reject that kind of outcry. And it also helped to secure the funding necessary, as there was a clear need for safe and open spaces for pet owners to take their dogs on post.”

Located near post housing, the one-acre dog park features two areas, one for small dogs and one for large dogs. The dog park cost $46,000 to build, including amenities such as dog-waste removal stations from Dogipot; dog park agility equipment from BYO Recreation; a park sign from Envirosigns; a doggie water fountain; and fencing. ...