WASHINGTON, June 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Parents, tweens and outdoors enthusiasts are helping to inspire more Americans to spend time outside and reconnect with nature this summer thanks to the Discover the Forest campaign, a public service campaign on behalf of the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council. In advance of the 9th annual National Get Outdoors Day on Saturday, June 11, 2016, the campaign is launching a social photography contest entitled 'Forest Photo Scavenger Hunt' and a new Instagram spotlight series to encourage forest visitations.
The 'Forest Photo Scavenger Hunt' contest invites participants to respond to forest image prompts created by photography influencers. Directions from the influencers challenge their followers to recreate their own photos, taken in their own local forest, and post using the hashtag #GetOutdoors2016. Winners will be showcased across the Discover the Forest social properties and will be announced later in June.
Also on Instagram, the campaign is launching a new photo series, #ForestFotog, drawn from user photos to highlight urban forests throughout the country. Users can submit their forest photos to be spotlighted by the campaign by tagging them with the hashtag #ForestFotog.
"Our outdoor public spaces are closer than most people realize," said U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell. "We hope these new videos and social content will encourage families to discover those spaces close to their home, including forests and grasslands, for National Get Outdoors Day on June 11 and throughout the year."
The general population has shifted away from rural settings to metropolitan areas and now over 80% of Americans live in cities. Fortunately, families don't have to leave the city to take their kids on an adventure to the forest. Through exploration of the forests and parks right in their neighborhoods, tweens can still feel connected to nature and ultimately create a lifelong interest in spending time in nature. 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.
"National Get Outdoors Day is a fantastic and fun opportunity to teach the importance of all the benefits of connecting with nature," said Lisa Sherman, President & CEO of the Ad Council. "We are thrilled with the new social content and contests we are launching for the event. We are confident that these efforts will encourage families to use Discover the Forest's resources to visit a nearby forest this summer."
All of these videos and social efforts will be supported on the Discover the Forest Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest profiles where you can further explore the beauty of the forest and the health benefits associated with spending time outside. To learn more about the Forest Photo Scavenger Hunt visit http://www.discovertheforest.org/photochallenge/. The campaign website, www.DiscovertheForest.org, includes a convenient forest locator (powered by Nature Find™ and GoogleMaps) which allows users to find the forest or park closest to them, interactive games and suggestions for forest activities. It is also available in Spanish at DescubreElBosque.org.
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.
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 on YouTube.
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SOURCE The Ad Council