PROVIDENCE -The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today announced its annual Great Outdoors Pursuit will kick off this Saturday on National Kids to Parks Day with a scavenger hunt and guided hike. As part of the Pursuit, now in its ninth season, families earn rewards for participating in scheduled outdoor events throughout the summer season.
"The Pursuit is a wonderful way for families to enjoy, explore, and learn about nature," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "Throughout the summer, we'll be offering fun, guided experiences at some of the most beautiful places in Rhode Island. From fishing to camping to hiking, there's an opportunity for everyone to get outdoors, get active, and revel in the beauty all around them. Just terrific!"
WHAT: Great Outdoors Pursuit Kick Off: Scavenger Hunt & One-Mile Hike (directions)
WHEN: Saturday, May 20, 2017 | 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
WHERE: Blackstone Valley Visitor Center & Bike Path, Route 295 North, Lincoln
The Great Outdoors Pursuit challenges families to visit state parks and other outdoor areas throughout the summer and participate in activities, ranging from birding to golfing and quahogging. Participants register online and self-print a Pursuit Passport. At each event attended, "stamps" are earned for the Passport. Registration is free, and participating children are eligible for prizes. Last year, more than 1,550 people joined the Pursuit. On Saturday, participants will receive a free lanyard to hold their Passport as well as a sticker for completing the first event.
Rhode Island is home to a wealth of historic parks, beaches, bikeways and other recreational facilities that support the economy and residents' quality of life. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation generates $2.4 billion in consumer spending and supports 24,000 jobs each year. Last year, Governor Raimondo convened the Rhode Island Outdoor Recreation Council – with membership from state and local government, industry and community – to develop an actionable vision for promoting and growing outdoor recreation in Rhode Island. The Council released its Final Report last December, highlighting the importance of this recreational network to Rhode Island's economic and cultural vitality. A recent study conducted by the University of Rhode Island found that State-managed parks and bikeways alone contribute $311 million to the economy annually and support over 3,700 jobs and nine million visits. For a complete list of events and to sign up for the Pursuit, visit www.riparks.com. Follow DEM on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) or Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM for more information on recreational opportunities in Rhode Island as well as other timely updates.