Connect People to the Outdoors

With National Public Lands Day, September is a great time to highlight Strategic Objective F: “Connect People to the Outdoors.” and encourage healthy, active outdoor fun at national forests and grasslands.

Key Messages

  • The Forest Service offers outstanding opportunities for experiencing a multitude of recreation opportunities.
  • National Forests offer some of the most valuable outdoor recreation settings that this country has to offer, but those settings and the visitor experiences they provide are increasingly at risk.
  • Connecting with the outdoors and nature enhances people’s quality of life
  • The Forest Service is committed to providing sustainable outdoor opportunities while minimizing the impacts of use on the land

Discover More


Applying to Use Research Natural Areas

At the most basic level, RNAs help preserve our Nation's natural heritage for future generations. What we do not save today may soon be gone forever. There are currently 33 Research Natural Areas across 16 National Forests in 12 southern states and 1 in Puerto Rico. Researchers, managers, or individuals interested in conducting studies, or making observations in RNAs may download the application.

Download Publication: Preparing for the Future Forest Service Research Natural Areas

Ecosystem services and preventive medicine a natural connection

Growing evidence suggests that contact with green spaces (e.g., parks, forests, gardens) can be beneficial to physical and mental health. Take a look at the studyEcosystem services and preventive medicine a natural connection” led by USDA Forest Service SRS Researcher Viniece Jennings.

Research shows there are many benefits to people enjoying time outdoors.

Women in Science: Viniece Jennings

I am a research scientist who investigates the relationship between green spaces and different aspects of health and well-being. Green spaces include areas such as urban forests, parks, and gardens,” said Viniece Jennings. Find out more about Viniece here.

SRS scientist Viniece Jennings. (Forest Service photo)

Video: It's All Yours - National Forests

The USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station is one of 7 research stations in the US. SRS research helps keeps the nation’s forest and grasslands healthy!

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” - John Muir