L.L.Bean Bootmobile heads off for Spring/Summer tour to support national parks

Thursday, April 19, 2012NPF news

During National Park Week (April 21 – 29) outdoor retailer L.L.Bean is asking Americans to visit a park and share their photos and stories online to help raise $1 million for the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, as part of the Million Moment Mission .   Additionally, all week long, visitors can take advantage of free admission to all 397 parks.  For more information about National Park Week celebrations, volunteer opportunities and special deals happening nationwide, visit www.nationalparkweek.org

The Million Moment Mission is L.L.Bean’s way of celebrating a century of outdoor leadership as it helps the next generation discover their love of the outdoors in its 100th Anniversary year.  When consumers share their stories or photos of outdoor experiences online they’ll be helping to inspire someone else.  To date, more than 200,000 “moments” have been shared in the year-long campaign.  The program benefits the National Park Foundation’s America’s Best Idea program which brings youth from underserved communities into the parks for outdoor excursions.

Today, more than ever, families recognize the need to encourage kids to get outdoors to play, yet a recent survey* shows parents still say their children spend, on average, less than an hour a day outdoors.   This year L.L.Bean is working to help reverse that trend through creative partnerships with organizations like the National Park Foundation and others.  L.L.Bean offers a free park finder tool to help make it simple to find a park that suits your needs in your local area.

According to L.L.Bean Outdoor Discovery School guide Greg Dorman learning the basic of outdoor recreation at a young age is key to developing healthy habits that will last a lifetime.  “At L.L.Bean the outdoors is in our DNA,” Dorman said, “Our company founder, Leon Leonwood Bean, was the quintessential outdoorsman.   He believed that spending time outdoors could add years to your life.” 

Bootmobile Kicks Off National Tour

To help raise awareness about the Million Moment Mission campaign and the benefits of being outdoors, the L.L.Bean Bootmobile will be traveling the country in 2012. The 13-foot high and 20-foot long vehicle left Boston this week on a Spring/Summer tour designed to raise awareness and funds to help more children learn about and enjoy the national parks.  The Bootmobile and L.L.Bean’s Outdoor Discovery School guides will accompany the Bootmobile, providing free advice and outdoor recreation instruction.  For every person who attends these events, $1 will be donated to the National Park Foundation.  

Real-Life Stories Help Others Discover Something

While the Bootmobile is educating consumers outdoors, indoors L.L.Bean is also launching new advertising online and in movie theatres to help inspire people to get outside and explore nature this summer.  The “Discover Something” campaign features video spots of three L.L.Bean customers who tell their story of outdoor discovery and the rewards of spending time outdoors.  

Steve Gadecki, one of the customers profiled in the Discover Something videos, has visited 18 national parks and hiked more than 100 mountains with his L.L.Bean backpack over 15 years.  According to Gadecki, “It’s a real sense of pride in your country when you’re standing in front of Half Dome or the majestic Sequoias.  Looking down upon the Grand Canyon or hiking up the rocky coast of Acadia.  Everything in your life seems to make sense and even though it was a journey to get there, you’re glad you made it. If you’ve ever thought about going, why are you waiting?  Don’t hesitate. Go!”

With the theme - if you think there’s nothing left to explore, just get outside and find something new to discover - the spots are being featured in theaters nationwide and at llbean.com.

About L.L.Bean, Inc.

L.L.Bean, Inc. is a leading multichannel merchant of quality outdoor gear and apparel. Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company began as a one-room operation selling a single product, the Maine Hunting Shoe. While its business has grown over the years, L.L.Bean still upholds the values of its founder, including his dedication to quality, customer service and a love of the outdoors. L.L.Bean products are rigorously tested, guaranteed to last and always shipped free. In the past five years, L.L.Bean has donated over $6 million toward conservation and land stewardship. The 200,000 sq. ft. L.L.Bean retail store campus in Freeport, ME, is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and welcomes more than 3 million visitors every year. L.L.Bean can be found worldwide at www.llbean.com, Facebook Twitter and YouTube.

About the National Park Foundation
You are the owner of 84 million acres of the world’s most treasured memorials, landscapes, ecosystems, and historic sites -- all protected in America’s nearly 400 national parks.  Chartered by Congress, the National Park Foundation is the official charity of America’s national parks.  We work hand in hand with the National Park Service to connect you and all Americans to the parks, and to make sure that they are preserved for the generations who will follow.  Join us in supporting your national parks -- this is your land.  www.nationalparks.org.

*Survey Methodology

This survey was designed and conducted by KRC Research on behalf of L.L. Bean and the National Park Foundation.  Interviews were conducted by telephone between December 21, 2011 and January 3, 2012, using random-digit dial samples, in which all land-line households had an equal probability of being contacted.  In all, 1,006 U.S. adults, age 18 and older, were interviewed.  Data were weighted slightly by age, gender, ethnicity, and region to align with the distribution of the U.S. population as reported by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.  The estimated margin of error for the national sample is ±3.1% at the 95% confidence level.

CONTACT: Marjorie Hall, [email protected], 202-354-6480