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The North Face to Launch Explore Your Parks Program

The North Face to Launch Explore Your Parks Program

Partnership with the Maryland and Virginia State Parks, American Hiking Society and The National Park Trust, encourages families to get outdoors and enjoy state parks in support of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Outside campaign.

Washington, DC (PRWEB) September 10, 2010 -–The North Face today announced the launch of the Explore Your Parks program, a partnership with the Maryland and Virginia State Parks, American Hiking Society and The National Park Trust, to encourage families to get outdoors and enjoy state parks in the Washington, DC, area this fall. By providing families the tools they need to enjoy the open spaces near them, these groups are actively supporting Let’s Move Outside, the outdoor recreation component of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign to end childhood obesity. Since Let’s Move Outside kicked off in early June, thousands of American children and families have taken part in fitness-boosting activities such as hiking, biking and canoeing on public lands and waters across the country.

“I am determined to work with folks across this country to change the way a generation of kids think about health, food and nutrition. The Let’s Move! campaign has an ambitious national goal of solving the challenge of childhood obesity,” said First Lady Michelle Obama at the launch of Let’s Move Outside in June 2010. “This problem can’t be solved just by passing laws in Washington. It’s going to take all of us—governors, businesses, non-profits, educators, parents—to tackle the challenge once and for all.”

Explore Your Parks is an example of this comprehensive approach to improve the health of youth and communities through an increase in physical activity through connecting with nature.

“Our overall goal for Let’s Move Outside is to really get our kids active so that they make it a habit of moving around and seeing the activity they need not as a chore, but as a fun way to explore our country and to do some things they haven’t done,” added First Lady Michelle Obama.

During the month of September, people living in the greater DC area can receive a free one-day pass (good until December 31, 2010) for use in any Maryland or Virginia State Park with a $50 purchase or more of any The North Face product. Additionally, people who retrieve a code at 10 featured trails in state parks can receive a free Explore Your Parks stainless steel water bottle from participating DC-area retail locations (found at www.exploreyourparks.com under “Retailers” section).

“This program is a great example of how we are working with the private sector where gaps exist in funding in order to keep the parks open and maintained for public use,” said Virginia State Parks Director, Joe Elton. “Programs like this one with The North Face are a natural fit and a win-win situation for everyone.”

“This partnership benefits Maryland,” said Maryland Park Service Superintendent, Nita Settina. “Working with The North Face will provide a great opportunity for even more Maryland families to learn about our State Parks and enjoy the natural resources our State has to offer.”

Special launch events for the Explore Your Parks program will be held Saturday, September 18, at Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg, MD, with Chris Bushman, deputy superintendent of the Maryland Park Service, attending, and on Sunday, September 19, at Mason Neck State Park, in Lorton, VA, with Virginia State Parks Director, Joe Elton, attending. For more information on the events and directions to these parks, please visit www.exploreyourparks.com

“Anytime is a great time to visit and hike in a state park, but getting outdoors is especially beautiful during the fall,” said Gregory Miller, President of American Hiking Society. “The North Face Explore Your Parks Program is ideal for those who love the outdoors, and hiking and exploring in a nearby state park is great fun and one of the best nature-based activities that can lead to a lifetime of fitness.”

Maryland State Parks have been recognized as having one of the top 12 trails in the United States for viewing fall foliage, and in 2009 alone, they had more than 10.1 million visits. Similarly, Virginia State Parks had more than 7.5 million visits last year, and have received more than 100 awards for being recognized as having the best beaches, campgrounds trails, scenic views and programs. Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

“It is our priority to encourage exploration and enable people of all ages to get outdoors. The Explore Your Parks program is a catalyst for people to do just this,” said Steve Rendle, President of The North Face and VF Corporation’s Outdoor Americas Coalition. “We are proud to partner with the American Hiking Society, National Park Trust and State Parks, known for providing memorable outdoor experiences.”

Throughout the month of September, The North Face will donate $1 to trail preservation in Maryland and Virginia State Parks for each new member to PlanetExplore.com, a resource for local outdoor events, or new download of the Trailhead App.

About The North Face®
The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968. Headquartered in San Leandro, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snow sport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company’s products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snow sport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers and major outdoor specialty retail chains.

About American Hiking Society
The North Face is a proud supporter of American Hiking Society – the national voice for hikers, dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas and the hiking experience. Since its founding in 1976, American Hiking Society has been the only national voice for hikers supporting trails and stewardship through it national signature programs: National Trails Day®, Volunteer Vacations, the National Trails Fund and its national trails advocacy work. For more information, visit http://www.americanhiking.org/

About The National Park Trust
National Park Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of our nation’s critical parklands and reconnecting our youth – especially those that are underserved – to nature. NPT’s mission is to provide important recreational and educational parkland opportunities for current and future generations. As people spend more time indoors and as successive generations grow up with less of a connection to nature, NPT wants to build greater awareness and appreciation for the importance of our country’s public lands and parks. To achieve this, NPT seeks to champion the acquisition and preservation of critical national, state and local parklands and to build a greater awareness through education – focusing on our youth.