DEM Seeks Families Interested in Free or Low-cost Local Summer Fun to Play The Rhode Island Great Outdoors Pursuit

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PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management continues its search for families to play the 2008 Rhode Island Great Outdoors Pursuit, a 10-week contest that encourages Rhode Islanders to enjoy the recreational resources and outdoor activities our state parks have to offer – while moving toward a healthier lifestyle. Families who participate in most or all of the events will be eligible for prizes. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged to ensure entry. There is no cost to register.

The contest kicks off on Sunday, June 22 with a day full of family activities and fun at Lincoln Woods State Park in Lincoln. Registration begins at 10:00 a.m., followed by the official kick-off ceremony hosted by Governor Donald Carcieri and DEM Director W. Michael Sullivan, Ph.D. at 11:30 a.m.

Following the ceremony, families are invited to enjoy the park by participating in any number of activities including guided walks and hikes, climbing on the Rhode Island Rock Gym’s climbing wall, reduced-rate kayak rentals and kayaking demonstrations, make and take arts and crafts, fishing (bring your own pole or DEM can provide one), and more.

Families will also enjoy free healthy snacks and drink samples from Whole Foods Markets, music from Nightlife DJ sponsored by United Healthcare, and raffles and give-a-ways of Nerf footballs and soccer balls, Super Soakers, and Twister games donated by Hasbro. Health and wellness information will also be available with representatives from URI’s Tick Awareness program, the American Diabetes Association and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of RI. Coast 93.3’s “Tunes the Turtle” will be on hand to entertain the kids.

Families are asked to bring a lunch (a concession stand is available on-site), sunscreen and lawns chairs or a blanket.

The game will take Rhode Island families to up to seven different state parks and forests this summer, where they will participate in outdoor adventures such as hiking, biking, fishing, geocaching or swimming, among other activities. Events will be either “guided” or “self-guided.” Guided events will include numerous activities led by DEM, game partners and exhibitors. A self-guided event allows teams to visit a designated park whenever they can during the 10-week period and engage in an activity on their own.

Teams will receive points for participating in each event and will be eligible for prizes of outdoor equipment donated by local retailers at the finale on August 24. Prizes include: 1st Place – a complete camping gear and vacation package; 2nd Place – a kayak and a $125 gift certificate for kayak lessons; and, 3rd Place – a bike. The full 10-week schedule and game rules are posted on the program website: www.riparks.com.

Support for the project comes from numerous game partners including Eastern Mountain Sports, Hasbro, Inc., Kids First, REI, Rhode Island Department of Health, United HealthCare, Wal-Mart, Coast 93.3 and Whole Foods Markets.

For more information, contact Steven Wright at (401) 222-2632 or email at RIparks [at] dem [dot] ri [dot] gov or Terri Bisson at (401) 222-3434, ext. 4402 or email at terri [dot] bisson [at] dem [dot] ri [dot] gov.