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DEM to Kick Off the Rhode Island Great Outdoors Pursuit on Sunday, May 18 at Lincoln Woods State Park

PROVIDENCE The Rhode Island Departments of Environmental Management (DEM) and Health (DOH) invite Rhode Islanders to reconnect with the great outdoors, get active and have fun by joining the 2014 Great Outdoors Pursuit.

Teams of children and adults will be challenged to visit different facilities and take part in outdoor adventures and learn about environmental and health issues over a 12-week period. They earn points for each "Pursuit" event they attend and can win prizes valued up to $1,000 at the Grand Finale. Each team must include a minimum of two people one member over age 18 and one member under age 18. There is no limit on the number of members that each team may have.

"Our Great Outdoors Pursuit gets families outdoors, where they can enjoy nature, get fit and have fun," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "Reconnecting children and families with the natural world will ensure a healthy future for our children and for our planet."

"Outdoor activity is an important way for Rhode Islanders of all ages to get and stay healthy in 2014," said Department of Health Director, Michael Fine, MD. "And the Great Outdoors Pursuit -- in Rhode Island State Parks! -- is a fun and challenging way to do it."

Four of the Pursuits take place on specific dates in set locations and are guided by DEM staff and their partners. Guided Pursuits include free outdoor adventures such as biking, hiking, nature walks, fitness challenges, kayaking, fishing and rock climbing. They also include music, environmental and health-related exhibits and free raffles, give-a-ways and samples. All Pursuit events take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 2014 guided events and their themes are as follow:

Pursuit #1 - Sunday, May 18 Healthy Parks Healthy People - Lincoln Woods State Park

Pursuit #2 Sunday, June 22 Navigating the Great Outdoors - Pulaski Memorial State Park

Pursuit #3 Sunday, July 27 Oceans of Fun Teams choose from Roger Wheeler or Scarborough State Beaches in Narragansett or Misquamicut State Beach in Westerly

Pursuit #4 (Grand Finale) Saturday, August 9 Camping in the Wilderness Burlingame State Park & Campground (includes free overnight camping for registered families)

The remaining three Pursuits are self-guided. Teams select events and activities from a list provided by DEM and do them on their own time. Teams then provide proof of visit to receive credit.

Registration is free. Teams that register are eligible for prizes. Everyone, even if they don't register, is welcome to come to the events and enjoy the fun and educational activities. Nearly 2,000 people participated last year! To register or learn more, please visit www.riparks.com/RIOutdoorsPursuit.

Support for the program comes from partners, including UnitedHealthcare, Verizon, Clivus New England, Fort Adams Trust, Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor, YMCA, and Coast 93.3.

For more information, contact Robert Paquette at (401) 667-6200, or via email to robert.paquette@dem.ri.gov or Terri Bisson at (401) 222-2776, ext. 4402, or by email at terri.bisson@dem.ri.gov.

Related links

Department or agency: Department of Environmental Management

Online: http://www.dem.ri.gov/

Release date: 05-08-2014

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