DEEP: DEP Launches New No Child Left Inside® Program

April 8, 2011
 
DEP Launches New No Child Left Inside® Program
Connecticut Families are Invited to Join the Great Park Pursuit Outdoor Recreation Challenge

Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Daniel C. Esty will join hundreds of families from across the state to begin the Great Park Pursuit Outdoor Recreation Challenge.  The adventure begins at Hammonasset Beach State Park, Madison on Saturday, April 9, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. as the DEP celebrates Family Birding Day.

"I am very excited to be a part of this great program that has been getting Connecticut families outside and into the state parks and forests for five years now," said Commissioner Esty.  "Since its beginning, No Child Left Inside® and the Great Park Pursuit have been enjoyed by thousands of families at state parks and forests throughout the state.  One of my main goals as Commissioner of the DEP is to make sure we get our children outdoors so that they learn firsthand the beauty and wonder of our environment."

The Great Park Pursuit Outdoor Recreation Challenge is a year-round adventure that encourages Connecticut’s families to experience the excitement and joy of having fun outdoors in Connecticut state parks and forests and on its waterways.  The DEP has created a Great Park Pursuit Outdoor Recreation Challenge Passport to be used as a recreational activity guide to Connecticut’s State Parks and Forests.  An artistic, interpretive map of Connecticut’s State Parks and Forest has also been created.

For each recreational activity (biking, birding, boating, camping, fishing, hiking, historic sites, letterboxing, picnicking, swimming, and winter activities) the department has created a top list of state parks and forests that offer that activity.  When families visit any of the top parks or forests they can have their passport stamped.

"No Child Left Inside® and the Great Park Pursuit have been incredibly successful over the past five years," said DEP Deputy Commissioner Susan Frechette.  "This year we are expanding the program to focus on year-round activities and giving families flexibility to visit our state parks and forests whenever and wherever they like – not just for organized events.  The goal of No Child Left Inside® has always been to build the next generation of environmental stewards – we are confident all of the families that have enjoyed the Great Park Pursuit in the past and all of the new families that will participate this year will enjoy the new format as much as before."

In conjunction with the passport, the DEP will be hosting a series of Family Days starting in April and running through October themed around the eleven outdoor recreation activities.  This will still provide families with the opportunity to participate in DEP-sponsored events but will also encourage them to visit Connecticut’s State Parks and Forests throughout the year.

The all-new No Child Left Inside® has all of the news and information a family needs to get started.  For more information, please visit www.NoChildLeftInside.org

Background Information

No Child Left Inside® was introduced in 2006 and is 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.

Over the past 5 years, families from across the state have participated in the Great Park Pursuit which was a seven-week adventure through Connecticut’s State Parks and Forests.  Families deciphered clues, participated in activities, and competed for prizes all while having fun.