- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Castle Island — Today, Governor Charlie Baker and his wife Lauren Baker will join with Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton, Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) Commissioner Leo Roy, and fourth grade students from the Franklin D. Roosevelt School in Hyde Park and their families at historic Fort Independence on Castle Island to announce June as “Great Outdoors Month.” Governor Baker will make the announcement during the state’s second annual Capital Campout event, where he will sign a proclamation officially declaring the month as “Great Outdoors Month” to inspire citizens from across the Commonwealth to get outside in our state parks and enjoy nature.
“By declaring June as ‘Great Outdoors Month’, it is my hope that many will be encouraged to visit the Commonwealth’s valuable natural and recreational resources,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Today’s Capital Campout event will be a great success, and I’m proud to have the opportunity to spend time with students from the Franklin D. Roosevelt School in Hyde Park to celebrate this special occasion.”
For the second year in a row, Governor Baker will sign the proclamation at Fort Independence on Castle Island during the Capital Campout event, which will provide students with the opportunity to sleep in tents on the historic island. Governor Baker, alongside students and their families, will participate in valuable camping skill development opportunities, including pitching a tent, safely starting and maintaining a campfire, and outdoor cooking.
“From the majestic Mount Greylock in the Berkshires to the beautiful beaches that line our shores, and everything in between, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has tremendous recreational opportunities for everyone to get outside and celebrate Great Outdoors Month,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.
Additionally, the Capital Campout event, which is part of a national effort to celebrate America’s great outdoors, will feature other fun activities including, storytelling; group singing; games; a fishing clinic; making s’mores; a tour of historic Fort Independence by costumed interpreters; and a live Birds of Prey demonstration.
“It is incredibly important that people of all ages and abilities incorporate physical activity within their daily routines to foster an active and healthy lifestyle,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Our state parks system provides unparalleled access to some of the nation’s most exceptional environmental resources close to home, such as the nearby Blue Hills, and I urge everyone to get outside and enjoy Great Outdoors Month and our state parks all year long.”
Massachusetts offers unique natural landscapes such as mountain ranges, sandy beaches, universal access recreation trails within state forests, and urban green spaces. The DCR maintains over 250 state parks, which includes 87 ocean and inland beaches, 16 islands, 37 swimming pools, 29 campgrounds, 2,000 miles of greenways and trails, and 145 miles of paved biking trails, all of which are available to the public.
“With the summer recreational season now upon us, it is my hope that we all take advantage of the many opportunities that our state’s parks, forests, and beaches have to offer,” said DCR Commissioner Leo Roy. “The Baker-Polito Administration remains committed to providing recreational opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy.”
The “Capital Campout” event is made possible by the support and generosity of several businesses and organizations, including the Coleman Company, Inc., who are donating tents and camping supplies; Whole Foods and Sullivan’s, who are providing food; The Fishing Academy, who are providing fishing equipment and lessons; the Castle Island Association, who are providing assistance with tours and historic information; the Boston Tea Party Museum, who are providing costumed interpreters; New England Aquarium, who are providing a live sea creatures show; the Curley Community Center, who are providing an exercise instructor, and The American Recreation Coalition, who assist in organizing “Great Outdoors Month” and “Capital Campout” campaigns across the nation.