San Bernardino National Forest, June 7, 2013 – The U.S. Forest Service is offering a fee-free day on June 8 in celebration of National Get Outdoors Day, an annual event to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun.

Obesity and physical inactivity are major risk factors for chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Physically active outdoor recreation can be part of a natural solution.

National Get Outdoors Day — sometimes  called “Go Day” — was launched June 14, 2008, through a partnership between the Forest Service and the American Recreation Coalition. The partnership built on the success of More Kids in the Woods and other efforts to connect Americans – especially children – with nature and active lifestyles. More than 6 million people have participated in environmental education, recreation and related literacy programs, which include children’s activities like the Junior Forest Ranger program, and Discover the Forest.

The Forest Service manages 193 million acres of national forest and grasslands, which over 165 million people have visited in recent years. Visitor spending contributes about $13 billion to the economy each year, but the Forest Service offers fee-free days four times a year. The first such period in 2013 was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The other days are Sept. 28 for National Public Lands Day and Nov. 9-11 for Veterans Day Weekend.