For Immediate Release - June 01, 2012

State Environmental Officials Celebrate June as Great Outdoors Month

BOSTON – Friday, June 1, 2012 – With summer approaching, the Patrick-Murray Administration has proclaimed June as Great Outdoors Month in Massachusetts. In honor of the celebration, the Departments of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and Fish and Game (DFG) will host a variety of activities to get residents and visitors outdoors in June.

“June is the perfect time to remind everyone to get outside and celebrate the natural beauty of the Commonwealth,” said DCR Commissioner Edward M. Lambert, Jr. “We at DCR are offering a variety of affordable opportunities across the state this season for everyone to have a fun and safe summer season.”

The onset of June signals the beginning of the summer recreation and vacation season and the Commonwealth boasts more than 450,000 acres of state parklands where visitors can take part in activities such as hiking, biking, swimming and fishing.

“June is one of the best months of the year for outdoor activities, including canoeing, kayaking, boating and fishing in Massachusetts’ lakes, rivers, and coastal waters,” said DFG Commissioner Mary Griffin. “Massachusetts offers a free fishing weekend June 2 and 3 and we would like to invite people to try fishing this weekend and enjoy many other outdoor activities in June and throughout the year.”

DCR and DFG have released the following list of upcoming outdoor activities – all of which are open to the public. These and other activities can be found on the DCR event page . DFG lists hundreds of outdoor events and activities for June and the rest of the summer on its website in the following links: MassWildlife Calendar of Events and Rivers and Wetlands Month Calendar.

  • Learn to Fish: Interested in fishing but don’t know how? You can learn by participating in the DCR “Learn to Fish” event on Sunday, June 2 from 9-11 a.m. Through this program, you will learn fishing techniques and how to be environmentally responsible when fishing. You will even discover what species live in the reservoir! DFG will be providing a group fishing license as well as fishing poles and tackle. The group will meet at the Old Stone Church in West Boylston.
  • Free Fishing Weekend: On June 2 and 3, take a friend or family member fishing for free--you won't need a fishing license to fish any waterway statewide for these two days! It is time well spent with family and friends. Your purchase of a fishing license directly supports fishing, stocking, education and fish habitat management programs. Contact Jim Lagacy, DFG’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Program Coordinator for scheduling a fishing festival or clinic in your area during the year at (508) 389-6309 or jim.lagacy@state.ma.us.
  • Accessible Recreation Fair: Visit DCR's Artesani Park in Brighton on Saturday, June 9 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a fun-filled event provided by the DCR’s Universal Access Program (UAP). Individuals, families, and friends of people with disabilities can come together to enjoy a cycling fair (with an assortment of cycles available for use) and adaptive recreational activities including hiking, letterboxing, face painting, and interpretive programs. Take this opportunity to learn about DCR’s inclusive, accessible programs and resources available to people of all abilities around the state so that everyone can enjoy the outdoors this summer!
  • A Sense of Place Festival: On Saturday, June 9, visit the Civilian Conservation Corps Camp in Upton and join singer/songwriter and educator Erica Wheeler in discovering your sense of place through music, writing, and reflection. Bring a picnic lunch and a blanket or chair and enjoy Erica’s inspirational, entertaining, and educational program with friends and family. We invite you to come for the day or any part of the program.
  • Identifying Animal Tracks: If you’ve ever come across an animal track and wondered what it was, then this is the event for you! On Saturday, June 9, from 1-3 p.m., Stillwater Farm in Sterling will be hosting a program all about animal tracks and habits. Find out what animals might inhabit your back yard, and learn to interpret signs that they were there.
  • Summer Discovery Hike: Spend this Father’s Day hiking! On Sunday, June 17, a DCR ranger will be leading a three mile summer discover hike to the DCR's Blue Hills reservoir in Quincy. We will meet at the Shea Rink parking lot, and the hike will begin at 1 p.m.
  • All About the Rock: Visit Plymouth Rock this summer! Pilgrim Memorial State Park will be presenting free, 10- to 15-minute talks every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (or by request during these hours) throughout the summer.  A Pilgrim Memorial State Park Interpreter will also be present at the Plymouth Rock Portico to answer any historical questions about the Pilgrims and the history of Plymouth County. Take advantage of this opportunity to get outside and learn a little bit about our country’s beginnings.
  • Borderland State Park Summer Series: Throughout the month of June, DCR's Borderland State Park in North Easton will be hosting two youth summer programs. These will be held once a week for three weeks, each focusing on a different topic. Kidleidoscope! is the preschool program held on Thursdays:
  • June 7 – Kidleidoscope! Birds
  • June 14 – Kidleidoscope! Butterflies
  • June 21 – Kidleidoscope! Critters

Please call Paul at 508-238-6566 to enroll ( Maudslay State Park in Newburyport also has a Kidsliedoscope series). The second program, Exploring Nature, and is held on Sundays throughout the month and targets a wider age-range.

  • June 3 – Exploring Nature: Ponding
  • June 10 – Exploring Nature: Insect Safari
  • June 17 – Exploring Nature: Animal Detectives

Both programs are a fun way to learn about nature and enjoy the outdoors!

  • Mansion Tours: Throughout the month of June DCR's Borderland State Park will be hosting tours of the Ames Mansion (on the Border of Sharon and Easton). This is a great opportunity for families and older children to learn about suffragette Blanche Ames, her botanist husband Oakes, and the history of their beautiful stone mansion. Please visit our calendar for information about the focus of each tour and their dates/times.
  • We Walk the Woods! : Visit DCR's Harold Parker State Forest in North Andover for an activity that combines exercise and sightseeing. Every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. a park ranger will lead a walk through our beautiful forest. This walk is moderately paced and a great chance for all ages to get some fresh air and enjoy the outdoors!
  • Off the Beaten Path Hiking Series: Whether you come for just one hike or you come for them all, the DCR's Myles Standish State Forest hiking series is a great way to get some exercise and spend a day outdoors with your friends and family! The hikes take place every Thursday of the month from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., and cover different parts of the park (located in S. Carver). Participants should expect to hike 3-4 miles on moderately difficult trails. Visit the Myles Standish State Forest website for more information on events and trails.
  • Evening Stroll: Visit DCR's Maudslay State Park in Newburyport on Thursdays this June from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Back by popular demand, participants in the Evening Stroll series spend an hour on a moderately paced walk through the park led by a park interpreter.
  • Maudslay in Bloom: Spend a weekend day this summer touring one of the best shows of flowers in bloom in Massachusetts! DCR's Maudslay State Park in Newburyport is home to an exciting array of flowers, including the wild mountain laurels highlighted by poet John Greenleaf Whittier. Tours are held every Saturday 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and every Sunday from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. throughout the month of June. Visit the Maudslay State Park website for more information on this and other programs offered throughout the summer!

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) is responsible for promoting the conservation and enjoyment of the Commonwealth's natural resources. DFG carries out this mission through land protection and wildlife habitat management, management of inland and marine fish and wildlife species, and ecological restoration of fresh water, salt water, and terrestrial habitats. DFG promotes enjoyment of the Massachusetts environment through outdoor skills workshops, fishing festivals and other educational programs, and by enhancing access to the Commonwealth's rivers, lakes, and coastal waters.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, oversees 450,000 acres of parks and forests, beaches, bike trails, watersheds, dams, and parkways. Led by Commissioner Edward M. Lambert, Jr., the agency’s mission is to protect, promote, and enhance our common wealth of natural, cultural, and recreational resources. To learn more about DCR, our facilities, and our programs, please visit www.mass.gov/dcr. Contact us at mass.parks@state.ma.us.

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