Statement: REI Co-op applauds Gov. Inslee’s move to reopen public lands, urges citizens to “recreate responsibly”

Apr 27, 2020

At REI Co-op, we know that time in nature is essential to our health and well-being, and that social isolation and lack of physical and outdoor experiences can have negative mental, emotional and physical impacts. That’s why we applaud the leadership of Gov. Inslee in beginning to reopen Washington parks and public lands, subject to health and safety guidelines. We believe the move to responsibly and gradually reopen access to recreation is a crucial step in the recovery process.  

The past few months have demonstrated that the outdoors matters more than ever to more people than ever. Across the country, people are yearning to step out into the fresh air. People everywhere are being reminded of the importance, the value and the rewards of time outdoors. Our public parks and open spaces play a vital role in providing equitable access to the positive benefits of time spent outside.  

REI is committed to working with our government and nongovernmental partners to help us all enjoy the use of parks and open spaces during the COVID-19 crisis. As we continue to adapt to our new normal, it’s important that we all practice responsible recreation behaviors, such as social distancing and wearing appropriate facial coverings. By recreating responsibly, we can help ensure that our parks and recreation assets will remain open and accessible for all.  

We know this is an evolving space and REI is committed to continuing to work together to update and educate the public on best practices for responsible recreation. 


About the REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 20 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 168 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at, REI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.