By Sean Williams Ad Council [email protected]
Coinciding with National Get Outdoors Day on June 11, the USDA Forest Service and Ad Council announced new public service advertisements (PSAs) from the Discover the Forest campaign. The new creative brings the power of music with the original song “Outside,” composed specifically for the campaign by Poe Leos and Harv. The campaign includes new video assets as well as a music video that features a family exploring the great outdoors together and reminding parents of how rewarding and exciting it can be to connect with nature.
“We are happy that many families can visit nature and reconnect with each other and with nature. Through this campaign, we hope to reach families who are not currently participating in these experiences,” said Tinelle Bustam, director of conservation education, forest service, government and private forestry at USDA Forest Service. “It’s been inspiring to work with these talented artists to use music as a new way to connect families to their woods, parks and other nearby outdoor spaces.”
Kansas has 5.2 million acres of woodland, woodland, and trees that take up 10 percent of the state’s total land area. These forest resources can be described as rural forests (2.2 million acres), agroforests (2 million acres of windbreaks, shelter belts, riverside forests and fence line forests), and community forests (1 million acres). 95% of the state’s rural forest is privately owned. The remaining 5 percent is owned and controlled by public agencies such as the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and the US Department of Defense and Corp of Engineers.
According to the USDA Forest Service, Kansas private forests are owned by 117,000 families and individuals. 65 percent of these owners own less than 10 acres of woodland. Fortunately, however, 65% of the state’s forest cover is in holdings ranging in size from 10 to 99 acres, and 25% in holdings larger than 100 acres.
Most forest owners in Kansas own the land as part of their farm. Their ownership goals are quite similar to those of non-farmers, with family heritage, aesthetics and protection of nature being the main ownership goals. The most common use of the state forest is for private recreation. Trespassing and unwanted plants are the two biggest concerns of landowners.
The Kansas forests are predominantly located in the eastern third of Kansas on rich alluvial soils and on wet upland sites. The forests of Kansas are steadily increasing in area. Since the first official inventory was taken in 1936, Kansas’ forests have increased by 3.9 million acres. Although speculative, forest cover has increased mainly in uplands and through the encroachment of forests into grasslands. Although the total area of forested land is increasing, forests with high ecological value continue to be converted into valuable agricultural crops and urban land use.
There are 28 state parks in Kansas that offer hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, fishing, biking, horseback riding, hunting or just relaxing. Most offer practical and primitive camping and access to lakes, trails and wildlife areas. For guides to outdoor excursions in the state, go to www.ksoutdoors. com.
Since 2009, the Ad Council and USDA Forest Service’s Discover the Forest campaign has encouraged parents and caregivers to take their families outside to reconnect with nature, whether it’s in a park, forest, or green space nearby .
Developed pro bono by David&Goliath, this latest creative edition uses the power of music to highlight the outdoors as a place of family bonding and joy. A full-length music video featuring the campaign’s specially created song “Outside” by Poe Leos and Harv captures the sense of freedom that the forest can bring and showcases the forest as a backdrop for family bonding, exploration and laughter. In addition, the campaign developed an additional song, “Birds Eye View”, with artists Astyn Turr and Ariza, as well as a full suite of creative materials (including TV, radio, print and outdoor) that will be available in English and Spanish.
“In the latest Discover the Forest campaign, we set out to bring justice to underrepresented groups in outlying areas and our national parks,” said Blake Winfree, Chief of Social Impact at David & Goliath. “We wanted to create a campaign that invites families from all backgrounds to participate in the possibilities of nature with a creative idea highlighted through music and culture.”
The creative aims to reach all parents and caregivers of tweens, with a focus on fostering a sense of belonging to nature among Black and Hispanic families. While outdoor recreation among Blacks and Hispanics has increased over the past decade, current participation rates still do not reflect our diverse US population, and Blacks and Hispanics remain underrepresented outdoors.
“Music and nature each have the power to connect people and release feelings of joy and peace,” said Michelle Hillman, chief campaign development officer at the Ad Council. “This latest version of Discover the Forest brings them together harmoniously to remind parents that an unforgettable experience in nature with your family is not far away.”
Across all PSAs, audiences are directed to DiscoverTheForest.org and DescubreElBosque.org where they can search for nearby forests, parks, and trails, and find ideas for outdoor activities. The new PSAs will run nationwide in time and space donated by the media, following the Ad Council’s model.
USDA Forest Service
The Forest Service manages 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands for the American public. Its mission is to maintain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.