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, youth and family hunter education workshops, and free admission to Seagrave Memorial Observatory and the Audubon Nature Center and Aquarium.
Events in July:
Saturday, July 7, 14, 21, & 28, at 10:00 a.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 7, 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 7, at 10:00 a.m. Audubon Society of RI Education Center, Bristol Free Family Fun Day from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Thanks to the Citizens Bank Foundation, the Audubon Nature Center and Aquarium is open free to the public on the first Saturday of every month. Join Audubon for crafts, nature stories, animal discoveries, hikes and more. The theme for July is Icky, Squishy, Weird and Wacky Science. The facility and trails are stroller-friendly.
Saturday, July 7, 14, 21 & 28, at 10:30 a.m. Kelly House Museum, Lincoln Free outdoor recreation and science exploration every Saturday in July and August. Families are encouraged to stay after Science Saturday to explore the Kelly House Museum, the Blackstone River and Canal, and the Blackstone Bikeway. In case of inclement weather, alternate activities will be held in the barn at Kelly House.
Saturday, July 7, 14, 21, & 28, at 9:00 p.m. Seagrave Memorial Observatory, North Scituate Explore the wonders of the universe through the telescopes during Open Nights at Seagrave Memorial Observatory from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Favorable views are expected of the bright outer planets, Jupiter and Saturn. Carpooling is encouraged as parking is limited. Bring a red-filtered flashlight and bug spray; pets are not allowed. The observatory is open on clear Saturday nights. For more information and weather and cancellation updates, visit http://www.theskyscrapers.org/
Thursday, July 12 & 26, at 10:30 a.m. Kettle Pond Visitor Center, Charlestown Learn to paint with Elizabeth "Miss Art" Nordstrom. Free classes for children aged six and up. All materials provided. Space is limited and reservations are suggested. To reserve a spot, call 364-9124. Hosted by Kettle Pond Visitor Center.
Saturday, July 14, at 2:00 p.m. Rocky Point State Park, Warwick Learn to quahog with local quahogger Jody King as he teaches families how to dig for clams and the history and value of clamming in Rhode Island. Attendance is limited and pre-registration is required. Participants must be registered for the 2018 Rhode Island Great Outdoors Pursuit. To register, visit https://ridem.wufoo.com/forms/zyncqxx1ms365d/
Saturday, July 14, at 9:00 a.m. & 11:30 a.m. Peace Dale Shooting Preserve, 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.
Sunday, July 15 & 22, at 9:00 a.m. Camp E-Hun Tee Education Center, Exeter DEM Division of Fish & Wildlife hosts a Youth and Family Hunter Education course to teach participants about hunter responsibility, firearms safety, wildlife laws and identification, game care, specialty hunting, outdoor emergencies and survival, and water safety. Participants who attend both sessions and pass a final exam will be eligible for hunter safety certification, which is required to purchase a hunting license. Registration is required; email Scott Travers at Scott.firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 539-0016 to register.
Thursday, July 19, at 6:30 p.m. Blackstone Valley Visitor Center, Lincoln Nature walk departs from Blackstone Valley Visitor Center on Rte. 295 and explores the trail leading down to the Captain Wilbur Kelly House in Blackstone River State Park. Learn more about the plants and animals that live in the park as well as the glaciers that created the river valley. Participants may bring water and snacks as well as bug spray. There is some poison ivy in the plants off the path, so staying on the path is strongly encouraged.
Thursday, July 19, at 8:30 a.m. Yawgoo Trail, South Kingstown Join the South Kingstown Land Trust (SKLT) for a guided hike every 3rd Thursday on a featured SKLT trail. All ages welcome. Hosted by South Kingstown Land Trust.
Sunday, July 22, at 9:00 a.m. Norman Bird Sanctuary, Middletown Learn about the natural history of reptiles and which species can be found in Rhode Island before taking a naturalist-guided hike in search of snakes and turtles. A live reptile Animal Ambassadors presentation will also highlight the group's adaptations for survival. Fee: $10 Members/$12 Non-members. Pre-registration online is required.
Monday, July 23, at 9:30 a.m. Kettle Pond Visitor Center, Charlestown Free archery program for children aged 10 and older. All equipment will be provided, and participants must take part in a 30-minute safety training session at the start of the program. Children under age 10 are invited to participate in nature crafts, puzzles, games and scavenger hunts inside the Visitor Center. Registration is required by calling 364-9124. Hosted by the US Fish & Wildlife Service.
Thursday, July 26, at 6:30 p.m. Cumberland Town Hall, Cumberland Learn about the history of Valley Falls and the important role it has played – and continues to play – in immigration in the Blackstone River Valley in a free historical tour. The group will meet at the Cumberland Town Hall and depart from there. Stops will include the Blackstone River and Club Juventude Lusitana. The event is free and the walk is a short, easy walk on paved sidewalks. Be sure to bring water and wear sunscreen!
Sunday, July 29 Rhode Island State Beaches Governor's Bay Day at all RI state beaches. Park free and enjoy the sand and surf at any of RI's seven beautiful state beaches – Scarborough, Roger Wheeler and Salty Brine in Narragansett; Charlestown Breachway and East Beach in Charlestown; East Matunuck in South Kingstown; and Misquamicut in Westerly. Some beaches will have special activities.
Tuesday, July 31, at 6:30 p.m. L.L. Bean, Cranston Free map and compass navigation clinic located at L.L. Bean's Garden City store. Course instructors will teach attendees the fundamentals of navigation. Compasses will be provided, but feel free to bring your own. Clinic may be held outdoors, so be sure to wear appropriate clothing.
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 fly-fishing and archery. 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 850 people joined the Pursuit.
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. 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.dem.ri.gov/Pursuit. Follow DEM on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) or Facebook at www.facebook.com/RIGreatOutdoors for more information on recreational opportunities in Rhode Island as well as other timely updates.