DEEP: Connecticut DEP and U.S. EPA-New England Announce Great Park Pursuit and Earth Day 40 Programs for 2010

March 12, 2010
Connecticut DEP and U.S. EPA-New England Announce Great Park Pursuit and Earth Day 40 Programs for 2010
Return of Great Park Pursuit for 5th Consecutive Year
Environmental programming at State Capitol on April 22

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Amey Marrella and U.S. EPA-New England Administrator Curt Spalding today announced the opening of registration for the Great Park Pursuit and plans for Connecticut’s celebration of the 40th Earth Day.

At an event held at Dinosaur State Park, Rocky Hill, Commissioner Marrella said, "The DEP is excited to announce both the return of the Great Park Pursuit and special activities to celebrate Earth Day. The Great Park Pursuit will mark its 5th anniversary this year and will once again encourage families and their children to spend time outside in Connecticut’s state parks and forests, while nurturing Connecticut’s future environmental stewards. Earth Day will be celebrated at the State Capitol with a day full of environmental activities. All Connecticut residents are encouraged to join us for Earth Day at the State Capitol on April 22 and to sign up their families for the Great Park Pursuit. We are delighted to have Administrator Spalding share in these important announcements."

"We are excited about celebrating the 40th Earth Day next month. Even as we recognize there is more work to keep our environment clean and healthy, this is a great time to reflect on the great work done over the past decades by Americans to clean our air, land and water," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's New England regional office.

Families can register for the Great Park Pursuit at:
Earth Day information can be found at:

No Child Left Inside®

The Great Park Pursuit, celebrates its 5th anniversary in 2010. It is a centerpiece of DEP’s No Child Left Inside® initiative. Registration for the game begins on Saturday, March 13 and ends on Saturday, April 24. Families will follow clues that will take them travelling around the state visiting state parks and forests over a seven-week period beginning Saturday, May 8 at Rocky Neck State Park through Saturday, June 19. Four of the Saturdays are guided events where DEP staff and volunteers will run organized activities for the entire family; the other three weeks are self-guided where families will be given instructions on events to do on their own.

Earth Day 40

This year is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, first celebrated in 1970. The DEP is hosting a celebration at the State Capitol on Thursday, April 22 and the public is invited to attend. Events will include a Youth Forum, made up of high school students who will be speaking to their legislators, displays and exhibits from the DEP and other environmental organizations, panel discussions on important environmental topics and more.

U.S. EPA – New England

H. Curtis "Curt" Spalding recently became Regional Administrator of U.S. EPA’s New England regional office in Boston. Mr. Spalding has extensive experience in the environmental field as an advocate, policy analyst and administrator. For almost 20 years, he served as Executive Director of Save the Bay in Rhode Island, a nationally recognized, 20,000-member environmental advocacy and education organization.

Mr. Spalding established the Narragansett BayKeeper and Habitat Restoration programs which reconnected Save The Bay to ecologically important Bay issues and oversaw the successful completion of the $9 million Explore The Bay Campaign and construction of the Save The Bay Center at Fields Point in Providence, RI. Prior to joining Save The Bay, Spalding was an Environmental Protection Specialist and Presidential management Intern at EPA’s offices in Boston and Washington, D.C. Spalding received his bachelor’s degree from Hobart College and an M.P.A. from SUNY at Albany, in Albany, NY.

No Child Left Inside®


In 2005, the Connecticut DEP created its No Child Left Inside® initiative, which was designed to reconnect children with the outdoors, showcase the recreational opportunities available in Connecticut’s state parks and forests, and build the next generation of environmental stewards. In 2010, we are celebrating the 5th anniversary of The Great Park Pursuit, one of the key components of No Child Left Inside®.

Families can register for the Great Park Pursuit at:

The Great Park Pursuit is a contest that takes families to seven different state parks and forests encouraging families to participate in a variety of outdoor activities including fishing, hiking, letterboxing, canoeing, archery and more.

The Great Park Pursuit has generated a great deal of interest that has grown each year. In the first year, 2006, more than 400 families signed up to participate. That number grew to 750 families in 2007, more than 900 families in 2008 and nearly 1,100 families in 2009. Registration for this year’s edition of the Great Park Pursuit begins March 13 and ends on April 24.

The Great Park Pursuit begins on Saturday, May 8 at Rocky Neck State Park, East Lyme.

Schedule is as follows:

Week 1: Saturday, May 8 Rocky Neck State Park, East Lyme (Guided)
Week 2: Saturday, May 15 Guided activities with DEP staff
Week 3: Saturday, May 22 Self-guided
Week 4: Saturday, May 29 Self-guided
Week: 5: Saturday, June 5 Semi-guided
Week 6: Saturday, June 12 Guided activities with DEP staff
Week 7: Saturday, June 19 Guided activities with DEP staff

In addition to the Great Park Pursuit there are many other components to No Child Left Inside® including state park passes at public libraries, urban fishing, park & forest interpreters and the annual Winter Festival.

For more information and to register for the Great Park Pursuit visit:

Earth Day at the State Capitol: Celebrating the 40th Anniversary


In the four decades since the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, Connecticut has made great progress in cleaning up our air, water and lands, preserving open space and protecting wildlife.  This 40th anniversary is a time to highlight our state's environmental progress, while recognizing the critical challenges that we still face.

Earth Day on April 22 will be a special occasion - and we look forward to celebrating it with you at the State Capitol and at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

Thursday, April 22, 2010
Youth Forum with the General Assembly’s Environment Committee
Legislative Office Building (LOB)
9:30 – 11:30 a.m.

Connecticut’s young people speak to their legislators about environmental issues of concern to them and solutions they would like to see.

Environmental Work on Display
LOB Concourse (connects LOB to State Capitol)
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Exhibits and displays from:
Department of Environmental Protection
Connecticut League of Conservation Voters
Connecticut Fund for the Environment
Working Lands Alliance
Connecticut Coalition for Environmental Justice
Soil & Water Conservation Districts
Citizens Campaign for the Environment and other groups and organizations

Movie Premiere, Discussions, and Displays
State Capitol – 3rd Floor Old Judiciary Room
11:00 a.m. – 4 p.m.

DEP Commissioner Amey Marrella will welcome guests for the premiere of a special Earth Day 40th anniversary movie produced by DEP in cooperation with the Corporate Media Center at Middlesex Community College.

Following the movie there will be panel discussions on key environmental issues – and a look at the challenges we face in the next 10 years leading to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

The afternoon will also be filled with special guests and special presentations.

For more information visit the DEP website: Be sure to check out the timeline showing the 40 most significant environmental accomplishments in the four decades since the first Earth Day and the comprehensive calendar of statewide Earth Day events.