PROVIDENCE -The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today announced its annual Great Outdoors Pursuit will kick off tomorrow on National Kids to Parks Day. As part of the Pursuit, families earn rewards for participating in scheduled outdoor events throughout the summer season.
"Our family participated in the Pursuit for the first time last year and had a great time," said First Gentleman Andy Moffit, who chairs the Rhode Island Outdoor Recreation Council. "It's an incredible opportunity to spend time together, get active, and explore our spectacular parks. I hope all Rhode Islanders will join us for this year's adventure."
For Kids to Parks Day, Pursuit participants are encouraged to visit one of four state parks between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Eligible self-guided activities include picnicking, swimming, walking, hiking, or flying a kite.
"The Pursuit is a wonderful way for families to get outdoors and have fun together," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "With so many amazing events happening during the summer, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. With the Pursuit, we're making it a bit easier for families by offering a suite of activities, venues, and special events at some of the most beautiful places Rhode Island has to offer. And what's better than a chance to win prizes for a day at the park? What fun!"
Now in its eighth season, the Great Outdoors Pursuit challenges families to visit state parks and other outdoor areas throughout the summer and participate in activities, ranging from canoeing to archery and camping. 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 1,000 people joined the Pursuit.
This year, Governor Gina M. Raimondo established the Rhode Island Outdoor Recreation Council in an effort to promote growth of outdoor recreation in the state. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation in Rhode Island generates $2.4 billion in consumer spending and supports 24,000 jobs.
Great Outdoors Pursuit partners include Clivus New England, the American Recreation Coalition, Coleman, and Coast 93.3. 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.