As part of ongoing efforts to encourage children, families and individuals to enjoy the recreational resources and outdoor activities our state parks have to offer and engage in more physical activity, the RI Department of Environmental Management will hold a series of free activities during February school vacation.
"We've planned an exciting lineup of events for children and families during school vacation week," noted DEM Director Janet Coit. "I hope Rhode Islanders will come out and watch the seals in Narragansett Bay at the Chafee Nature Preserve, explore beaver dams and hike the trails in Pulaski Park, and tour DEM's Lafayette Fish Hatchery. These are great opportunities for children to learn about the natural world and participate in a variety of fun, healthy, outdoor activities."
On Tuesday, Feb. 19, DEM Parks & Recreation staff will lead guided hikes with an opportunity to view the seals that bask on the rocks off Rome Point at the John H. Chafee Nature Preserve in North Kingstown. The 2 ½ mile walk is relatively easy and participants may also catch a glimpse of numerous birds, including loons, cormorants, gulls and mergansers. The walks will take place on the hour at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. The walks begin at the parking areas on Route 1-A. Hikers are encouraged to dress appropriately as the area can be extremely cold in the winter wind.
On Wednesday, Feb. 20, DEM Parks & Recreation staff will lead guided hikes and walks around Peck Pond and other trails in Pulaski Memorial Recreation Area in Glocester. Participants will able to explore beaver dams around Peck Pond and learn about trees native to Rhode Island. The hikes will take place on the hour at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. Hikers should meet at the warm-up hut/pavilion in the beach area.
On Thursday, Feb. 21, the Department will offer tours of the Lafayette Fish Hatchery in North Kingstown. The tours will run continuously from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Lafayette Fish Hatchery is one of three hatcheries where DEM raises fish until they are stocked in the state's waters. During the tours, personnel from DEM's Division of Fish and Wildlife will explain the functions and procedures of the Hatchery as well as the life stages of fish.
"Winter is a terrific time to get outdoors, enjoy nature, get fit and have fun, and our state parks are some of the best places to play and try new activities," Director Coit added.
Day care centers and groups are welcome. For more information contact the Division of Parks and Recreation at 222-2632 or visit the website at www.dem.ri.gov.