The Global Gym

By Maureen Halsema

Playing outside is great for your physical and fiscal health, and it does not require a membership fee or have piles of sweaty towels and long lines for the ellipticals. This worldwide “gym” offers thousands of miles of trails to hike, rocks to climb and waters to paddle.

Some of the greatest venues for outdoor recreation are the state and national parks. According to Outdoor Foundation’s 2009 Outdoor Recreation Report, nature-related outdoor activities are on the rise. More people are participating in a range of easily accessible activities like backpacking, mountain biking, climbing, trail running, and adventure racing, while sports with higher price tags, such as downhill skiing, horseback riding, hunting, and fishing, tend be on a decline.

So no more excuses about how expensive the gym is – claim your membership today with the great outdoors!

Stimulus Package Benefits the Forests

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act allocated $1.5 billion to the US Forest Service in order to create jobs and stimulate the nation’s struggling economy, through the conservation and sustainable development of these lands. The act dedicates $500 million to Wildland Fire Management projects, including ecosystem restoration, research and rehabilitation, invasive species control, hazardous fuel reduction, grants, and support projects. In addition, $650 million is devoted to Capitol Improvement and Maintenance projects such as road maintenance, bridge and trail maintenance, watershed restoration, facilities improvement, remediation of abandoned mines, and support costs.

The following is a list of appropriations to Southern Appalachia for Capitol Improvement and Maintenance projects and Wildand Fire Management projects.

North Carolina $32,591,000
West Virginia $20,217,400
Kentucky $10,146,700
Virginia $5,081,000
Tennessee $4,055,000


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