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NYS: 'Get Outdoors & Get Together Day' celebrations


Mon, May 22nd 2023 10:30 am

Inclusive & accessible day of family-friendly recreation & fun at state parks, public lands June 10

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced “Get Outdoors & Get Together Day” will be held Saturday, June 10, with events at more than 20 select locations across New York, “to bring people of all abilities, ages, identities and backgrounds together for fun, healthy activities.”

He team said, “As part of state efforts to broaden the diversity of users and ensure inclusivity of access to state public lands, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, in partnership with the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and the Department of Veterans' Services, are hosting free events to connect people to nature and provide increased access to the outdoors.”

Hochul said, " ‘Get Outdoors & Get Together Day’ offers the perfect opportunity for New Yorkers to join with family and friends and experience some of the nation's most remarkable and accessible parks and outdoor recreational areas across the state. By prioritizing accessibility for people of all backgrounds and abilities, New York state is serving as a model of inclusivity and ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to experience and enjoy state lands."

The press release continued, “At 24 events across the state, participants will be encouraged to discover new skills and enjoy a range of introductory-level outdoor recreation activities such as fishing, nature walks and hikes, birding, archery, camping, paddling and more. Each event will highlight ways to enjoy the outdoors safely and sustainably. All locations will offer a selection of accessible activities, and use of adaptive equipment and demonstrations will be provided at many sites, including trail and beach mobility aids, archery assist stands, arm supports for fishing, and more.

“New York's ‘Get Outdoors & Get Together Day’ coincides with ‘National Get Outdoors Day,’ an annual event to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun. The need for access to nature and outdoor recreation has never been greater. During the COVID-19 pandemic, New Yorkers turned to the outdoors and public lands for a nature break, which is good for physical and mental health. ‘Get Outdoors & Get Together Day’ events support New Yorkers of all ability levels in trying healthy outdoor activities.”

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "DEC and our partners are committed to making New York's lands, waters and facilities more inclusive, welcoming, and safe for all visitors. ‘Get Outdoors & Get Together Day’ is a great time for New Yorkers of all ages and abilities to experience outdoor activities on public lands, from birding to hiking, boating, fishing, and much more. I encourage families to come together this year to participate in some of the fun and exciting programs planned for the day, and to continue visiting throughout the year."

New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, " ‘Get Outdoors & Get Together Day’ showcases New York's amazing public lands and recreational opportunities that are accessible for everyone to enjoy. Parks are natural gathering places for friends and family throughout the state, and New York State Parks is committed to ensuring that all people of all abilities feel welcome at our parks and have an equal opportunity to experience all that we offer. We are excited to once again partner with other state agencies to make this event possible and continue connecting more people to the outdoors."

New York State Department of Veterans' Services Commissioner Viviana DeCohen said, " ‘Get Outdoors & Get Together Day’ is a special event that recognizes the immense benefits of spending time in nature, particularly for our veterans and their families. It's a chance for all New Yorkers to come together, enjoy outdoor activities like fishing, hiking and camping, and connect with the natural world around us. By providing increased access to state public lands, we can ensure that our veterans can experience the healing power of nature, while also promoting inclusivity and diversity among all users. We are proud to support this event and the positive impact it has on the well-being of our veterans."

New York State Chief Disability Officer Kimberly Hill Ridley said, "Our office is so excited to again be participating in 'Get Outdoors & Get Together Day' this year. We strongly encourage all New Yorkers with disabilities and their families and friends to join us on June 10 at one of the 24 events being held across the state to enjoy the many accessible and inclusive attributes our state public lands have to offer."

New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities Commissioner Kerri Neifeld said, "OPWDD is excited to be partnering with State Parks, DEC and the Department of Veterans' Services once again on ‘Get Outdoors & Get Together Day’ to offer inclusive and accessible events at New York's spectacular parks and DEC lands. Our hope is that people with and without disabilities will take advantage of a free day to get to know one another through their shared love for the outdoors."

Local DEC event locations and activities include:

•Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center (Erie County)

Activities at DEC facilities include the following:

√ Camping 101: Visitors can try their hand at camping basics by pitching a tent on the lawn and learning how to pack for a camping trip;

√ Birding: Participants can learn how easy and fun it is to enjoy birdwatching almost anywhere;

√ Hiking: Participants can take a short hike and learn the basics of finding the perfect trails on their own;

√ Outdoor safety: Learn the basics of being prepared and safe so all outdoor adventures are good ones;

√ Accessible outdoor recreation: Experience and learn about accessible outdoor recreation opportunities on state lands including hiking, camping, birding, fishing and boating; and

√ Select locations will also include “I Fish NY” catch-and-release clinics with rods and reels available for loan; introductory paddling on the water; and introductory archery, including important safety tips.

Wheelchair-accessible features, including restrooms, as well as activities and select recreation opportunities, are offered at all locations. Contact the event coordinator directly with accommodation requests and to find out about the adaptive equipment and activities offered at each site. Details, including schedules and registration requirements, can be found on DEC's website at https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/113380.html.

Local state park event locations and activities include:

•Niagara Region: Buffalo Harbor State Park (Erie County)

Program and scheduling details for each location can be found by visiting www.parks.ny.gov. No parking fee will be charged during event times. For details about visitor amenities at each location, visit www.parks.ny.gov.

DEC manages nearly 5 million acres of public lands, including 3 million acres in the Adirondack and Catskill Forest Preserve, 55 campgrounds and day-use areas, more than 5,000 miles of formal trails and hundreds of trailheads, boat launches and fishing piers. Connect on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Instagram.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses and boat launches, which were visited by a record 79.5 million people in 2022. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518-474-0456. Also, connect on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

For more information on OPWDD, visit www.opwdd.ny.gov or connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

DVS supports New York's veterans, service members and their families, providing assistance to obtain state and federal benefits earned through their service to New York and the U.S. For more information, call 888-838-7697 or visit the agency's website.

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