For Immediate Release Contact: Wendy Fox
May 30, 2007 617-626-1453
THE GREAT PARK PURSUIT CONTINUES!
More than 500 families and other teams have registered to participate in
six-week outdoor adventure contest in Massachusetts state parks
The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) continues its Great Park Pursuit series of family adventure games this Saturday, June 2, at Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park in Uxbridge. Activities will include a ranger-led tour of the canal, hay rides, a bird walk, fishing clinic, and a demonstration of the park’s turtles and why they’re important.
The Great Park Pursuit is a six-week series of Saturday events in a different park each week, running May 19-June 23 in parks across the Commonwealth. More than 500 families and teams have signed up to participate. Teams that attend five of the six events will be eligible to win grand prizes, including camping and kayaking gear, donated by Eastern Mountain Sports, and each week, all participants receive free prizes and give-aways.
The first two events were May 19 in the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton and May 26 at Great Brook Farm State Park in Carlisle. As part of the game, the weekly park locations are revealed by clues to team members each week.
The game is part of a larger, national campaign called No Child Left Inside, which encourages people, particularly families with children, to spend less time on sedentary pursuits like video games and television, and more time actively enjoying our great outdoors. With indoor, technology-based activities replacing more traditional outdoor play, experts warn that today’s
children will be too disconnected from nature to appreciate their role as the environmental stewards of tomorrow. This, and the alarming rate of childhood obesity nationally and in Massachusetts, have environmentalists teaming up with health experts to promote more active, outdoor lifestyles.
“The Commonwealth’s children and their families need safe outdoor opportunities for exercise to decrease their risk of obesity,” said Dr. Michael Yogman, a pediatrician in Cambridge and at Harvard Medical School and a trustee of the Boston Children’s Museum.
According to a 2005 Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey,
45 percent of Massachusetts children age 6-11 are overweight or even obese. An
American Heart Association study reports that as a result of inactivity,
children in the United States are less fit today than they were a generation
With nearly 450,000 acres of state parks, forests, and watershed lands, DCR encourages families to take full advantage of their robust park system.
“When you see the beauty of our state parks,” said DCR Acting Commissioner Priscilla Geigis, “you realize there’s no excuse not to get outside and appreciate the many benefits that come from connecting with nature.”
To get to Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Park from the intersection of Route 16 and Route 122 in Uxbridge, go north on Route 122 for 1.25 miles. At the traffic light, turn right onto Hartford Avenue and in 1 mile, turn right onto Oak Street. The Visitor Center is down the road on the left in a red barn, 287 Oak St.
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