The Maine Office of Tourism (MOT), in partnership with the Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation, has launched Look Out for ME, a marketing and educational initiative to support responsible recreation in Maine outdoors.
With input from leaders in the outdoor recreation industry, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Bureau of Parks & Lands and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife, MOT developed a communications tool that is meant as an asset to be shared with the public and private sectors to reinforce Maine’s outdoor brand and ensure respect and care for our natural resources.
Look Out for ME is patterned after the work of the Recreate Responsibly Coalition, a national effort to share best practices to protect people and our natural landscapes. The public health crisis caused by COVID-19 has raised the importance of being outdoors for health and wellness benefits. People are seeking refuge and relief in outdoor exploration with 2020 seeing a substantial increase in the number of people spending time in nature, exploring new places and trying activities for the first time. Sales for outdoor gear and equipment saw large increases in Maine and nationally. In addition, Maine State Parks saw a record number of visitors in 2020.
“Aside from our people, our natural resources are our biggest asset and are an integral part of our economy. DECD, through the Office of Tourism and Office of Outdoor Recreation, is committed to working with other state agencies and the private sector to provide our residents and visitors with tools to safely and sustainably enjoy all Maine offers in the outdoors,” said Maine Department of Economic & Community Development Commissioner Heather Johnson.
The goal of the Look Out for ME initiative is to ensure that visitors and residents alike venture out safely and responsibly, with great respect for the land and waters. There is a downloadable toolkit with assets including logos, social media posts and printable posters for businesses and organizations to use in their communications and marketing efforts.
The Maine Office of Tourism will complement the initiative with paid digital and print advertising and roll out a summer advertising plan in April.
Roughly 94 percent of Maine’s forest land is privately owned, and more than half of that land area is open to the public. Maine and the people who recreate here are fortunate for the generosity of landowners who open their land for hiking, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and more. To preserve these opportunities for generations to come, respect for the landowners and our natural resources is vital. The Look Out for ME initiative serves as a reminder of that.