PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island's First Family and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today announced the July schedule of events for the state's popular Great Outdoors Pursuit. The free public events include guided hikes and boating, stargazing and lighthouse tours as well as lessons in archery and clamming.
"Participating in the Pursuit is a great way to explore the amazing network of recreational areas we have in our state," said First Gentleman Andy Moffit, who chairs the Rhode Island Outdoor Recreation Council. "Throughout the summer, the Pursuit offers opportunities to enjoy fun, outdoor activities as a family which promote health, teach new skills and provide valuable time to reconnect. I hope all Rhode Islanders will come out this summer and join us for the adventure."
Free Events In July:
Tuesday, July 5 at 11:30 a.m. & Saturday, July 9 at 11:30 a.m. Pulaski State Park, 151 Pulaski Road, Glocester
Families in Nature leads a one and a half-mile guided hike through the park. Hikers will explore the landscape and learn about the beavers that live in and around Peck Pond. Participants are encouraged to pack a picnic lunch and bring bathing suits. The hike will depart from the beach parking lot at Peck Pond.
Saturday, July 16 at 9:00 a.m. Kettle Pond Visitor Center, 50 Bend Road, Charlestown
DEM Division of Fish & Wildlife hosts an archery clinic to teach kids about the basics of archery and archery safety. All equipment will be provided. A guided nature hike, crafts, and scavenger hunt are also planned. Archery lessons are limited to children eight years and above who are registered for the Pursuit. All are invited to participate in other planned activities.
Sunday, July 17 at 10:00 a.m. Rocky Point State Park, Rocky Point Avenue, Warwick
DEM Division of Fish & Wildlife, in partnership with local quahogger Jody King, teaches families how to dig for clams and the history and value of clamming in Rhode Island. Pre-registration is required and is limited to children who are registered for the Pursuit. Participants should assemble at the park's beach area.
Wednesday, July 20 at 6:00 p.m. Champlin Scout Reservation, 223 Scituate Avenue, Cranston
Boy Scouts of America hosts a Family Fun Day complete with crafts, sports, and opportunities to captain a row boat, shoot a bow and arrow, and spend some time at the BB range. Children of all ages are invited to participate.
Friday, July 22 at 5:00 p.m. Beavertail State Park, Beavertail Road, Jamestown
DEM Division of Parks & Recreation hosts a Bioluminescence Night at the Aquarium at one of Rhode Island's most scenic state parks. The event features Beavertail Lighthouse Tower tours, an outdoor movie, stargazing and illuminating jelly fish and sea creatures. Children of all ages are invited to join for this "pop up" Pursuit event. Friday, July 22 at 5:30 p.m. Wolf Hill Forest Preserve, Waterview Drive, Smithfield (next to the Smithfield Police Station, 215 Pleasant View Avenue, Smithfield)
Rhode Island Land Trust Council and the Smithfield Land Trust host a sunset hike through the forest. While enjoying the natural area, participants will learn about Wolf Hill's little-known WWII history. Hikes, which are two miles in length, will depart at 5:30, 6:00, and 6:30 p.m. from the Conservation Commission's driveway on Waterview Drive. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes and outdoor clothing appropriate to the day's weather. Insect repellent is recommended. Rain date: Saturday, July 23 at 5:30 p.m.
This year, Governor Gina Raimondo established the Rhode Island Outdoor Recreation Council in an effort to promote growth of the local outdoor recreation economy. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, this sector generates $2.4 billion in consumer spending and supports 24,000 jobs in Rhode Island. Now in its eighth season, the Great Outdoors Pursuit plays an important role in connecting people with nature, promoting health, and supporting treasured outdoor traditions for Rhode Island families.
The Pursuit challenges families to visit state parks and other natural areas throughout the summer and participate in a variety of outdoor activities. Participants register online and self-print a Pursuit Passport. At each attended, "stamps" are earned for the Passport. Registration is free, and participating children are eligible for prizes. Last year, more than 1,000 people joined the Pursuit. To sign up for the Pursuit, visit www.riparks.com.
"The Pursuit is a wonderful way for families to get outdoors and have fun together," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "July's line up of events offers incredible opportunities to explore some of the most beautiful places in Rhode Island and discover new favorites and talents along the way. Archery, boating, clamming, movies in the park, hiking in lush forests – tremendous! The summer doesn't get much better than that."
For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow DEM on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) or Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM for timely updates.