PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) today announced the July schedule of events for the state's popular Great Outdoors Pursuit. The public events include guided hikes, an evening walking lecture, and lessons in firearms safety and archery.
Events in July:
Saturday, July 1, 8, 15, 22, & 29, at 1:00 p.m. Museum of Work & Culture, Woonsocket One-mile walking tour along the banks of the Blackstone River and Main Street. Tour guides will explain how the river influenced the birth of the Industrial Revolution and how the mills impacted the environment. Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for students and senior citizens and includes complimentary admission to the Museum. Children under 10 are free with a paid adult admission. Space is limited and reservations are suggested; call 769-9675 to reserve. Hosted by the Museum of Work & Culture.
Saturday, July 1, at 10:00 a.m. Browning Woods Trail, South Kingstown One to three-mile hike through a pine and oak forested area with amazing stone walls. Kids and leashed dogs welcome. The hike is part of the new National Park Rx initiative which healthcare providers in South County have joined to "prescribe" taking walks and spending time in nature for better physical and mental health. Hosted by South Kingstown Land Trust.
Saturday, July 1, at 10:00 a.m. Dr. John Champlin Glacier Park Trail, Westerly One-mile family-friendly hike through glacial ridges and valleys on Kettle Close Trailhead. All ages welcome. The hike is part of the new National Park Rx initiative which healthcare providers in South County have joined to "prescribe" taking walks and spending time in nature for better physical and mental health. Hosted by Westerly Land Trust.
Thursday, July 13, at 6:00 p.m. Norman Bird Sanctuary, Middletown Evening walking lecture by Rachel Holbert on the Sanctuary's rocky ridge trails. Participants will learn about the geology of the region, and find out what Narragansett Bay and the Sanctuary's stone walls have in common. Two-mile hike across rocky terrain. Recommended for ages 8 and older. Cost is $10 for NBS members and $12 for non-members. Registration is suggested; visit www.normanbirdsanctuary.org. Hosted by Norman Bird Sanctuary.
Saturday, July 15, at 9:00 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. Great Swamp Shooting Range, Wakefield DEM Division of Fish & Wildlife hosts a clinic to teach kids the basics about firearms safety; participants will also have an opportunity to try rifle shooting, shotgun shooting, and archery. All equipment will be provided, and beginners are welcome. This free event is open to youth aged 10 to 19. Pre-registration is required; email Jessica Pena at Jessica.Pena@dem.ri.gov or call her at 539-0019 to register.
Saturday, July 22, at 10:00 a.m. Norman Bird Sanctuary, Middletown Naturalist-guided hike along the Sanctuary's shady woodland trails, followed by a bring-your-own picnic lunch in the apple orchard. This hike is ideal for children and families, and participants will learn about animal signs, seasonal changes in plants, and other stories of the landscape. Cost is $8 for NBS members and $10 for non-members. Registration is suggested; visit www.normanbirdsanctuary.org. Hosted by Norman Bird Sanctuary.
Saturday, July 22, at 11:00 a.m. Pulaski State Park, 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.
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. To sign up for the Pursuit, visit www.riparks.com.
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.