April 22nd marks the 49th anniversary of Earth Day
PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is encouraging Rhode Islanders to get outdoors and get active this month to mark Earth Day. Community cleanups are scheduled around the state and recreational opportunities abound.
"Earth Day is great motivation to explore the green woods, sandy shores, and sparkling waterways that grace Rhode Island," said DEM Director Janet Coit. "Rolling up our sleeves and getting involved in a community cleanup project to help beautify local neighborhoods and recreational areas fosters a sense of belonging and is a wonderful way for us to practice environmental stewardship. Earth Day also is 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. Collectively, these small actions can make a big difference for our environment."
HOW TO GET INVOLVED IN EARTH DAY
• Visit a park. Rhode Island joined states across the country this week to mark National Park Week, which is celebrated from April 20 – 28. 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 also is 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 camping. Burlingame, Charlestown Breachway, Fishermen's Memorial, and George Washington Memorial State Campgrounds are open for the season and offer a portal to get out and enjoy the natural beauty of the South County and northern Rhode Island countryside. Reservations may be made online at www.riparks.com, and through a toll-free reservations line, 1-877-RICAMP5 (742-2675).
• Go for a bike ride. Get your heart rate going and enjoy spring's bloom on the Blackstone River Bikeway and East Bay Bike Path. For more information including detailed maps, visit RIDOT's website.
• Go fishing. For freshwater anglers, DEM is stocking many popular waterways across Rhode Island with brook, brown, and rainbow trout. Hatchery-raised golden rainbow trout are being stocked at 16 popular fishing locations this spring. Anglers who catch a golden trout from Opening Day through April 29 will receive a free golden trout pin. Take a picture of your catch and send it to email@example.com. And right now, saltwater anglers are reeling in winter flounder and tautog. Keep an eye out for stripers, because they can show up at any time!
• 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 across Rhode Island, and the Environment Council of RI has compiled a calendar of events to help you find one in your community. A beach cleanup is slated at the Cliff Walk in Newport on Saturday, April 20, and the Downtown Woony Clean Day Kick-off will take place on Monday, April 22, along the Woonasquatucket River on Promenade Street and Kinsley Avenue in Providence.
• Raise your environmental IQ. Explore easy ways you can contribute to a healthier planet: conserve water and energy, reduce waste, and support local farms and conservation efforts.
Since its inception in 1970, Earth Day has served as a yearly catalyst for 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.
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.