PROVIDENCE, RI – Long days, warm weather, and outdoor fun are on the horizon. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management's (DEM) Division of Fish and Wildlife will be hosting lots of fun, nature-based educational programs this summer. From clamming days and fly tying to bird walks and bat counting, there's something for everyone. Join the Aquatic Resource Education, Hunter Education, and Wildlife Outreach staff to learn about Rhode Island's fish and wildlife resources or to try out a new outdoor skill this summer!
Most of the programs being offered are free of charge and family-friendly. Visit our website for a complete list of up-to-date programs. A list of programs and registration information are listed below:
AQUATIC RESOURCE EDUCATION PROGRAMS:
Freshwater Fly Fishing Program (Ages: 10+, Parent/guardian required to be in attendance for participants under 18): Have you ever wanted to try out fly fishing? Join us for a fun morning of fly-casting instruction, fly tying, basic entomology, and fishing for trout in the freshly stocked Addieville Pond! Lunch will be provided. Date: Saturday, June 4 Location: Addieville East Farm, Mapleville Time: 9 AM Registration: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 401-539-0039 Cost: A charge of $15 per person for lunch. Checks should be made payable to Roch's Market
Come Clam With Me (All ages): The Aquatic Resource Education program invites you to "Come Clam with Me!" Learn how to dig for clams, the equipment you need, and the management strategies that have kept Rhode Island in the quahogging industry for so long. Jody King, a longtime quahogger, will be instructing people of all ages about the ins and outs of recreational clamming. Dates and Locations:
o Thursday, June 16, 1 PM-4 PM – North Kingstown Town Beach
o Wednesday, July 13, 12 PM-3 PM – Colt State Park
o Friday, July 15, 1 PM-4 PM – Rocky Point State Park
o Thursday, Aug. 11, 12 PM-3 PM – Colt State Park
o Monday, Aug. 29, 2 PM-5 PM – Rocky Point State Park
o Saturday, Sept. 10, 12 PM-3 PM – North Kingstown Town Beach
Registration: Email email@example.com Cost: $5 per person for registrants 8 years of age and older.
Summer Fly Tying (Ages: 10+, Parent/guardian required to be in attendance for participants under 18): Cool down at the library and learn the art of fly tying! You'll learn how to make fun, creative fly fishing lures to try out on the water. All materials will be provided, and beginners are welcome. For questions contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Date: Tuesday, July 19 Location: Jesse M. Smith Library, Harrisville Time: 6-8 PM Registration: Register here. Cost: Free
HUNTER EDUCATION PROGRAMS Land Navigation 2-Day Course (Ages: 10+, Parent/guardian required to be in attendance for participants under 18): Join the hunter education staff and learn about land navigation from compasses to topographic maps, as well as some survival tips. The first day will consist of classroom learning and on the second day you will be tested while you attempt to solve several field navigation problems using your new skills in the wild woods of Arcadia Management Area. Date: Saturday, July 23, and Sunday, July 24 (must attend both days) Location: DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife Outdoor Education Office, 1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter Time: 9 AM-5 PM Registration: Register here. Cost: Free
WILDLIFE OUTREACH PROGRAMS:
Birding on the Bike Path (Ages: Varies by date, see details below. Parent/guardian required to be in attendance for participants under 18.): Come join the DEM'S Division of Fish and Wildlife this summer for an exciting outdoor summer activity: birding! Explore your local bike path on a leisurely walk to search for birds, learning about the species you find and about the RI Breeding Bird Atlas 2.0. No previous experience is necessary, and binoculars will be provided.
Dates and Locations:
o Saturday, June 18, Ten Mile River Greenway, Slater Park, Pawtucket ("Hatchling Birders" - Children ages 7 and under)
o Saturday, Aug. 6, South County Bike Path, Kingston Amtrak Station, West Kingston ("Fledgling Birders" - Adults)
Time: 9-10:30 AM Registration:
o June 18: Register here.
o Aug. 6: Register here.
Wildlife Solutions: Vegetable Vandals (Ages: Adults): Rabbits, woodchucks, and deer: These three critters are the bane of many gardeners' existence. While these critters may seem impossible to manage, there are measures you can take to defend your garden. As frustrating as these fuzzy felons may be, they are important to Rhode Island's ecosystem, acting as valuable natural resources in our state. Join us to learn how to protect your garden and about the rules and regulations for hunting and trapping on private property. We'll also be highlighting the New England Cottontail Project and Deer Program. Date: Tuesday, July 12 Location: Hybrid program, virtual and in-person at the Harmony Library Time: 6-7:30 PM Registration: Register here. Cost: Free
Summer Bat Night (Ages: All ages, Parent/guardian required to be in attendance for participants under 18): Bring the whole family together and join the DEM'S Division of Fish and Wildlife to participate in a bat colony count! Sit back, relax, and learn about Rhode Island's unique bat species and the conservation work being done to help these commonly misunderstood mammals. All participants are welcome to bring their own lawn chairs and get comfortable as they count bats flying by – you could even win a bat house for your very own home! Date: Thursday, July 7 Location: Carolina Trout Hatchery Time: 6:30-8 PM Registration: Register here. Cost: Free?
Wildlife Solutions: Nocturnal Nuisances (Ages: Adults): Coyotes, foxes, and fishers: Nocturnal mammals are greatly misunderstood. Most of their fear-instilling actions are simply a part of their life-history and strategy for survival. Still, these critters can certainly become a nuisance, especially when they begin to den under decks and dine out of chicken coops. Learning why these creatures behave the way they do is the key to finding resolution. Come learn about what is attracting these animals to your yard and how to make your property less hospitable. You'll also learn about the discoveries made by the Narragansett Bay Coyote Study and what we have learned so far through the collaborative Fisher Project with URI. Date: Tuesday, Aug. 2 Location: Brownell Library Time: 5:30-6:30 PM Cost: Free
Pollinators and Plants Walk (Ages: 10+, Parent/guardian required to be in attendance for participants under 18): Join us for a leisurely walk to look for bees and learn about pollination, native flowers, and how to help bees in your own backyard! We'll be joined by the Division of Fish and Wildlife's Pollinator Atlas Entomologist Katie Burns, who will share her knowledge of these un-bee-lieveable insects and how you can help with DEM's newest bumblebee survey. Now that's something to buzz about! Date: Saturday, Sept. 17 Location: Arcadia Management Area Time: 10-11:30 AM Registration: Register here. Cost: Free?
For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow DEM on Facebook, Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), or Instagram (@rhodeisland.dem) for timely updates.