#ResponsibleRecreation During a Pandemic
By Patricia Allen, Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies (AFWA)
AFWA wanted to make you aware of a new #ResponsibleRecreation campaign and request your assistance.
Request for your Assistance:
- We would like to ask your help to promote Responsible Recreation directly to the public through your social media channels platforms using the hashtag #ResponsibleRecreation. We have created a hub of assets for you to download and use as appropriate. This includes social media posts, infographics, and 30 second video clips. You can use these assets as is or add overlays with your agency logo. We are creating new assets weekly and will update this page as new items are produced.
- Website for assets to download: https://www.fishwildlife.org/responsible-recreation
- Website to send people to for more information and/or to TAKE THE PLEDGE to engage in #ResponsibleRecreation: https://www.responsible-recreation.org/
- Use the hashtag #ResponsibleRecreation
- If allowable in your state, on social media make the connection between the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act and #ResponsibleRecreation; making the ‘healthy wildlife – healthy people’ connection. You may also consider sending them to www.OurNatureUSA.com to learn more about what you can do to help conserve wildlife and support outdoor recreation opportunities.
- In keeping with the health/safety objective of this campaign and to support a good cause—please encourage your constituents to purchase a face mask/versatile covering that supports the campaign to pass the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act and promotes responsible recreation at www.recoverwildlife.com. **More details and helpful social media, web and newsletter content to promote this initiative coming soon.
- From your state- send us the best practices for Responsible Recreation and so we can promote those practices to all members and to the public.
Background: In March, 2020, concerned about the potential impact of the COVID 19 crisis on outdoor recreation and the financial impacts on its member agencies, partners and the outdoor recreation industry as a whole, the Association, in collaboration with many of its partners, developed the Responsible Recreation campaign. The objectives of the campaign are to:
- Educate the public about how to enjoy nature and wildlife related activities including hunting and fishing in a manner consistent with best social distancing practices.
- Promote Responsible Recreation as a critical way to mitigate the stress and anxiety of the current COVID 19 crisis, supporting the health of Americans.
- Wherever possible keep public lands opens to Responsible Recreation as opposed to potential large-scale closures of public lands that may be perceived as a risk for spreading the COVID 19 virus.
- Mitigate the widespread economic damage the COVID 19 crisis is causing to its member agencies, partners and the outdoor recreation industry by reducing the public’s fear of outdoor recreation and encouraging the public to enjoy the outdoors in a manner consistent with public health best practices.
In collaboration with partners, a website has been developed with some basic information and what it means for staying safe outdoors during the pandemic (Plan ahead; purchase licenses and park passes online, if available; Recreate close to home; Adhere to best practices for avoiding COVID-19; Follow state and federal guidelines; Pack out your trash as a courtesy to others and to avoid the appearance of overuse; Share your adventures in a respectful way on social outlets). Please check out this new website here: https://www.responsible-recreation.org/ From this page you can also TAKE THE PLEDGE to practice #ResponsibleRecreation.
In the first week after the launch the campaign has already reached ~7 million people. We will be working hard to keep you all informed and engaged as this campaign progresses. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have.