#OptOutside on Nov. 23 (and other days, too)

Arches panorama - photo by Julie Dodd

Arches National Park in eastern Utah was established as a national monument in 1929 and then redesigned as a national park in 1971.

Thanks to REI for launching the #OptOutside initiative.

REI Jacksonville, Florida

REI stores, like this one in Jacksonville, Florida, offer workshops and group outdoor activities to encourage people to explore the outdoors.

REI started what now is a national movement in 2015 by closing its stores on Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year, to encourage its employees and the rest of us to spend the day outside rather than in a store — or at home looking at a screen. (And this is a paid vacation day for the REI employees.)

I like the way the #OptOutside concept and hashtag now are used to encourage us to be outside — and not just on Black Friday.

Being outside can provide so many benefits for all of us! Please read my previous post about the benefits of outdoor activities.

If you need some encouragement to #OptOutside, I’m sharing some of my photos from outdoor ventures at national parks, state parks and community parks.

National Parks, National Monuments, National Wildlife Refuges

How fortunate we are as a country that we have elected officials over the years who have worked together to preserve beautiful areas — as national parks, national monuments and national wildlife refuges — for us and future generations to explore and enjoy!

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State Parks

State Parks provide a closer-to-home outdoor opportunity. Check online for state parks in your state and find out the offerings of the park, which can include hiking, boating and camping.

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Community Parks

Your town or city probably includes a variety of parks. Some are designed for team sports, such as soccer fields and softball and baseball fields. Other community parks include picnic tables, walking trails, fitness equipment, bike paths and playgrounds.

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Whether you’re going to be outside with family and friends, with your dog, or solo…

Whether you’re going to ride a bike, take a hike, eat a picnic lunch, take photographs, or birdwatch…

I hope you’ll #OptOutside!

Enjoy!

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