PROVIDENCE - The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is encouraging Rhode Islanders to get outdoors and get active tomorrow for Earth Day. Community cleanups are scheduled around the state, and plentiful recreational opportunities will be offered.
"Rhode Island has a wide array of parks, waterways, and green spaces," said First Gentleman Andy Moffit who chairs the state's Outdoor Recreation Council. "On Earth Day, we are reminded how important our environment is to the health of our state, way of life, and families. I hope all Rhode Islanders will take some time tomorrow to get outside and enjoy our natural resources while taking steps to help preserve them."
"Earth Day is great motivation to explore the green woods, sandy shores, and sparkling waterways that grace Rhode Island," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "Getting out in nature is good for body and soul, and we are so fortunate to have an amazing suite of options - from fishing to biking to relaxing under a shade tree. Earth Day is also an important time to reflect on how each of us can contribute to a healthier world by taking steps to reduce our energy and water use or clean up our neighborhood park; collectively these small actions make a huge difference for our environment."
There are a number of ways people can get involved in Earth Day, including:
• Visit a park! Rhode Island joined states across the country this week to mark National Park Week which is celebrated from April 16 - 24; Rhode Island is home to two national parks: Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park and Roger Williams National Memorial. With 400 miles of coastline, Rhode Island is also home to a vast network of beaches and waterfront recreational opportunities, including seven state beaches and 13 historic parks. And there are more than 40,000 acres of rural forestland available for the public's enjoyment.
• Go freshwater fishing! DEM recently re-stocked 60 waterways across Rhode Island with 26,000 trout, including Lake Tiogue in Coventry. Call 789-7481 weekdays for a day to-day list of re-stocked waters.
• Go for a bike ride! The Blackstone River Bikeway and East Bay Bike Path, among others, offer premiere biking experiences in Rhode Island.
• Explore Rhode Island's blueways and greenways! Rhode Island is home to more than 400 miles of hiking trails and abundant fresh- and saltwater paddling opportunities.
• Join a community cleanup! Help beautify local neighborhoods and recreation areas by getting involved in a community cleanup project. Earth Day events are occurring all across Rhode Island; find one in your community.
• Raise your environmental IQ! Explore easy ways you can contribute to a healthier planet: conserve water and energy, reduce waste, support local farms and conservation efforts.
Since its inception in 1970, Earth Day has served as a yearly catalyst for ongoing environmental education, action and change. Activities surrounding the day are focused on broadening public involvement in protecting natural resources and promoting a healthier environment for future generations. For more information on Earth Day, visit www.epa.gov.
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