Young Ohioans Will Enjoy Summer Fun at Explore the Outdoors Events

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Ohio families encouraged to take part in Explore activities to Celebrate Park and Recreation Month

Young Ohioans Will Enjoy Summer Fun at Explore the Outdoors EventsCOLUMBUS, OH – Beautiful summer weather is here and it’s time to be outdoors. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), through the Explore the Outdoors program, is providing parents and children with a variety of family-oriented events to help Ohioans jumpstart healthy outdoor lifestyles.
 
Explore the Outdoors is an exciting, hands-on family program that gives Ohio children the opportunity to reunite with nature, improve their physical and emotional health and discover the rewards of becoming environmental stewards. Through the program, ODNR provides Ohio parents, grade school teachers, youth leaders and outdoor educators with an easy activity guide to lead Ohio’s young people into the outdoors and an interactive online resource, www.exploretheoutdoorsohio.com, which families can use to find exciting outdoor events.
 
In July, which is National Park and Recreation Month, special Explore the Outdoors events will continue to be posted on the Explore the Outdoors web site. Upcoming events (through July 12) are listed here:

Date Event Time Location Organization/Agency Explore the Outdoors Activity Special Instructions
7/2/09 Splash in a Stream/SQM 9 to 11 a.m. James H. Kelley Preserve Village of Canal Winchester Splash in a Stream  
7/4/09 Sandcastle Building Contest Noon to 2:30 p.m. Portage Lakes State Park ODNR Swim with a Buddy  
7/4/09 Kids’ Endangered Species Festival   Kiser Lake State Park ODNR Learn from a Naturalist  
7/4/09 Lake Erie beach Treasure Hunt 5 p.m. Maumee Bay State Park ODNR Swim with a Buddy  
7/5/09 T-shirt Art 2 – 4 p.m. Highbanks Metro Park Franklin County Metro Park Learn from a Naturalist Meet at Nature Center
7/6/09 Lightning Bug Night Hike 9 p.m. Pickerington Ponds Franklin County Metro Park Learn from a Naturalist Meet at Glacier Knoll Picnic Area
7/9/09 Hike a Trail 9 to 11 a.m. Chestnut Ridge Metro Park Village of Canal Winchester Hike or Bike a Trail  
7/9/09 Fishing Program 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Slate Run Franklin County Metro Park Catch a FishLearn from a Naturalist Meet at Buzzards Roost Picnic Area
7/10/09 Brown Bag Lunch Chat noon Highbanks Metro Park Franklin County Metro Park Learn from a Naturalist Meet at Nature Center
7/11/09 Creekin 10 a.m. Blues Creek Preserve Preservation Parks of Delaware County Splash in a StreamLearn from a Naturalist Free
7/11/09 Insects of the Dunes 2 p.m. Headlands Dunes ODNR Learn from a Naturalist <!–[if !supportEmptyParas]–> <!–[endif]–>
7/11/09 Going Batty 8:30 p.m. Blacklick Woods Franklin County Metro Park Learn from a Naturalist Meet at Ash Grove Picnic Area
7/11/09 Campfire Cooking 6 p.m. Highbanks Metro Park Franklin County Metro Park Learn from a Naturalist Dragonfly Day Camp
7/11/09 Pymatuning Laker 5K Run 8:30 a.m. Pymatuning State Park ODNR Hike or Bike a Trail  
7/11/09 Nature at Night   North Chagrin Reservation Cleveland Metroparks Hike or Bike a TrailLearn from a Naturalist

Explore a Wetland

 
7/11/09 PaddleQuest   Portage Lakes State Park ODNR Paddle a Canoe Registration required
7/11/09 Hummingbird Banding 9 to 11 a.m. & 1 to 2 p.m. Lake Hope State Park ODNR Spot a Bird  
7/11/09 Kids’ Big Fish Contest 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mary Jane Thurston State Park ODNR Catch a Fish  
7/12/09 Family Bug Hunt 7 p.m. Blues Creek Preserve Preservation Parks of Delaware County Learn from a Naturalist Free
7/12/09 Family Fun in the Creek 1 p.m. Battelle Darby Creek Franklin County Metro Park Learn from a Naturalist Meet at Naturalist

The program’s activity guide recommends fun outdoor activities, including Spot a Bird, Hike a Trail or Camp Under the Stars. Families can accomplish all of the activities noted in the book at state parks, forests, preserves and wildlife areas throughout Ohio. Families can also complete some of the activities at local parks, green spaces or even at home.
 
Explore the Outdoors participants can find special activity completion codes posted at welcome centers and kiosks in participating ODNR and partner facilities statewide. Children who enter at least two codes on the Explore the Outdoors web site will receive a printable certificate signed by Gov. Ted Strickland. Participants can also get entered for other prizes, including a GreenBird birdhouse and a state park camping excursion.
 
Parents and teachers can contact 614-784-PLAY (7529) or explore [at] dnr [dot] state [dot] oh [dot] us for additional information or to request activity guides and program resources.
 
ODNR appreciates Explore the Outdoors sponsors who share a desire to improve the health of Ohio children and families by getting them outdoors. Sponsors include ODNR Division of Recycling, American Heart Association, American Family Insurance, GreenBird Birdhouses and Whole Foods.
 
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.