Archive for August 18th, 2010

By Sue Shekut, Owner, Working Well Massage, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Wellness Coach, ACSM Personal Trainer

If you read my blog you know I am a big nature lover and outdoors enthusiast. Being outside in nature, hiking, biking swimming or whatnot, makes me feel calmer, fitter and happier overall. I’ve written about nature and stress management and how both exercise and nature can help alleviate anxiety and other stress related conditions. Now, I hear that the current Presidential Administration is on the same page!

This past April at the White House Conference on America’s Great Outdoors, President Obama established the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to develop a conservation agenda to reconnect Americans with our great outdoors.  The President understands that protecting and restoring the outdoor spaces that we love and reconnecting people to the outdoors must happen at the local level. Therefore, President Obama directed the principal leaders of the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to travel across the country to listen and learn from people directly involved in finding grassroots solutions to reconnect Americans to the outdoors.  The President indicated that the sessions should engage the full range of interested groups, issues, and solutions.

Chicago Outdoor Enthusiasts this is your chance to Shine! Join senior representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) for a public listening session and discussions in Chicago, IL on the relationship of health and the outdoors. Discussion will include active and passive recreation, barriers to access, and new ideas, opportunities, and solutions for enhancing healthy living outdoors for all Americans.

Listening Session and Discussion Information

When: Tuesday, August 31, 2010


GENERAL Listening Session

Northwestern University School of Law

Thorne Auditorium

375 E. Chicago Ave. Chicago, IL 60611

8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

YOUTH Listening Session (high school & college)

Prentice Women’s Hospital

250 East Superior Street – Room L
Chicago, IL 60611

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Who: National and local leadership from Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality will be present to hear your thoughts and to participate in a conversation with you about America’s Great Outdoors.

  • 8:30 am – 12:30 pm: General Session to capture public input for a report back to the President
  • 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Youth Session to engage the next generation on ideas for making healthy living outdoors more available, accessible, and affordable

Both sessions are free and open to the public. They will make every effort to accommodate everyone, though space may fill up, so please pre-register via the email address below corresponding to the session you wish to attend (note that adults above age 24 should attend the General Session to allow space for youth ages 16-24 to participate in the Youth Session).

Please Register

To reserve a seat in the discussion, please register in advance via email below with:

·         your name

·         the name of the organization with which you are affiliated, if any

·         your telephone number

·         an email address where we may confirm your registration

(On-site registrations will be accepted if space is available.)


Please consider public transportation to the event:

  • CTA Bus Route #66 Chicago Ave
  • CTA Red Line “L” train: exit train at Chicago Ave stop walk/take cab/bike east to event space

Address: Chicago Ave. and 800 N. State Street

Parking at Northwestern Memorial Hospital:
The main parking structure is located at the Huron/St. Clair parking garage, 222 East Huron St.

  • $10 for less than seven hours
  • $22 for seven to 24 hours

A validation for a parking discounts may be available at customer service desks located in Feinberg/Galter Pavilions, 1st and 2nd floor, and Prentice Women’s Hospital, 1st floor.


If you have questions, please call Andrea Cernich at 240-276-9869.

Website for Your Comments

If you are unable to participate in person, please submit your comments and ideas via the America’s Great Outdoors website at http://www.doi.gov/americasgreatoutdoors/.

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