The Umbrella Organization for the voice of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State.

The mission  of the Big Tent  is to promote sustainable, diverse, equitable, and inclusive outdoor experiences in Washington state through advocacy and education.

What we do:  The Big Tent advocates for sustainable state funding for recreation and conservation lands as well as sustainable and equitable development and human interaction with those lands.

Vision:  The Big Tent envisions a Washington where elected leaders, businesses, nonprofits, and residents are working together to create a more inclusive and equitable outdoor experience for all. We want to find ways to use outdoor recreation to fuel economic activity and sustain healthy outcomes in our communities.

#RecreateResponsibly to Protect Yourself, Others, and the Outdoors

During this public health crisis, spending time in outdoor spaces has become even more important for many Americans. Yet these unusual circumstances mean that all of us, from seasoned outdoor enthusiasts to families heading out to their local park for the first time, could use a little guidance about how to stay safe. The Recreate Responsibly guidelines offer a starting point for getting outside to keep yourself healthy and to maintain access to our parks, trails, and beaches. [ LEARN MORE ]



We Represent Outdoor Recreation

Protect our most precious places

Across the country, Tribal Nations and other communities are calling for the protection of their most sacred places. REI Co-op, together with hundreds of organizations and outdoor brands, is joining their call to designate more national monuments to safeguard spectacular natural spaces—for ourselves, and for future outdoor enthusiasts who follow in our footsteps. It’s our shared obligation to protect these places—so we’re harnessing this network’s power to make it happen. Help us urge President Biden to designate more of America’s incredible public lands as national monuments.

Two New Grant Opportunities

Together Outdoors

Together Outdoors (TO) announces two new grant opportunities for fostering inclusivity and diversity in outdoor recreation:

  1. Inclusive Micro-Grant Program: Aimed at supporting small and rural grassroots organizations, this initiative seeks to enhance their capacity in creating a more inclusive outdoor recreation environment. Thanks to foundational support from THOR Industries, TO welcomes contributions from the outdoor recreation community for future grant rounds.

  2. Outdoor Pathway Scholarship: In collaboration with the Outdoor Diversity Alliance, TO has launched a program to connect students from underrepresented communities to outdoor and environmental professions. Recipients will receive $5000 in scholarship funding over two years, mentorship, and assistance with job placement in the outdoor industry or environmental field.

Don't miss out on these incredible opportunities!

2024 Refuge Outdoor Festival

Golden Bricks Events

Get ready for the outdoor experience of the summer at Refuge Fest 2024, where adventure, nature, inclusivity and good vibes collide!

Take advantage of the opportunity to secure exclusive Early Bird tickets for Refuge Fest, the 7th annual outdoor festival held at Tolt-MacDonald Park & Campground from August 16-18. As a gesture of gratitude to their valued newsletter subscribers, the organizers are extending a special offer of Early Bird tickets priced at just $95. Individuals are encouraged to reserve their spot promptly to become integral members of a movement that champions inclusivity, community spirit, and a deep connection with nature.

Join Refuge Fest 2024 now to enjoy the amazing mix of community and nature. Your presence will help make outdoor adventures better for everyone.

Outdoors for All

NRPA - Everyone deserves access to a quality park.

The Outdoors for All Act, a bipartisan bill in both the House and Senate, would ensure that the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) program has steady funding for generations to come. This program awards grant funding through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), supporting the development of new parks and the renovation of existing outdoor recreation infrastructure in underinvested urban communities. Since its establishment in 2014 over $45 million in grants have already awarded to 50 communities through ORLP, but a lack of long-term authorization and a minimum population threshold of 50,000 have prevented the program from being accessed by many of the communities that need it most. NRPA asks YOU to weigh in. Join NRPA in urging Congress to pass the Outdoors for All Act.

Outdoor Opportunity Legislative Toolkit

National Caucus of Environmental Legislators

The goal of this toolkit is to provide state legislators, agency staff, and partners with a framework and resources for establishing state-level outdoor opportunity funds and grant programs. It aims to offer ideas for place-based flexibility acknowledging resource differences among states. The toolkit is intended to be used in conjunction with input from grassroots/local organizations and communities. Included in the toolkit is an introduction to outdoor opportunity grant programs, program structure considerations, an overview of existing programs, case studies, and key resources.

BREAKING: Outdoor Recreation Contributes Over $1 Trillion to the U.S. Economy

Outdoor Recreation Roundtable Association

Today the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, released national and state economic data showcasing the incredible year the outdoor recreation economy had in 2022. This analysis demonstrates outdoor recreation’s powerful and positive economic impact on the U.S. economy and jobs as the nation continued to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic and Americans continued to prioritize time outside. 

These new government data show outdoor recreation generated $1.1 trillion in economic output, comprised 2.2% of U.S. GDP, and supported 5 million jobs — 3.2% of all employees in the country. “If there’s one thing to take away from today’s BEA presentation it’s this: the state of the outdoor recreation economy is strong, and sustained investment in outdoor recreation and our shared public lands and waters pays dividends for our local and national economies and quality of life,” said Jessica Turner, president of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR). “Our industry continues to provide benefits to communities across the country — big, small, urban, and rural alike. To ensure that this success is sustainable and that our public lands and waters will continue to be accessible to all Americans for generations to come, we will continue to work together with leaders on the passage of America’s Outdoor Recreation Act by the end of this year. We are thrilled to once again see the data reflect what we hear every day, that outdoor recreation is not a nice to have — but a necessity for healthy people, places, and economies." [See the new data]

REI Cooperative Action Fund Invests $4 Million in Nonprofits Working to Create a More Equitable Outdoors

The REI Cooperative Action Fund is announcing a $4 million investment in 40 nonprofit organizations collectively creating a more equitable outdoors. This investment includes the addition of 18 new organizations to the Fund’s growing nationwide network of nonprofit partners, as well as renewed support for 22 existing partners. As a community-supported nonprofit, the Fund is fueled by donations from REI Co-op, its customers, members, and employees, as well as corporate partners, and foundations. Since the Fund’s launch in 2021, more than 800,000 people have donated.

Thrive Outside Day: October 20th, 2023!

Join King County Play Equity Coalition this Friday for KCPEC's Thrive Outside Day to learn more about collective efforts and opportunities to elevate barrier-free access to outdoor experiences and connection. KCPEC is the backbone organization to Thrive Seattle - the Thrive Initiative is a national collective and effort under the Outdoor Foundation to increase regional access and remove barriers to the outdoors so all communities can benefit from outdoor recreation, education, and nature connection. What is it: Thrive Outside Day is a day where all Thrive Communities across the nation recognize and celebrate our collective work to address equity barriers, connect with outdoor providers, and explore opportunities to be engaged in our work. When: October 20, 2023, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. at the Pacific Tower, 1200 12th Ave S, Seattle. Coffee and light snacks will be provided for breakfast. Korean bowls will be provided for lunch. [Register]


Washington State's Outdoor Recreation Economy Generates

View the 2020 Economic Analysis of Outdoor Recreation in Washington State for details