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Mary Griffin

Mary Griffin
Commissioner, Department of Fish and Game (DFG)
View Commissioner Griffin's Bio

Commissioner Ed Lambert Edward M. Lambert Jr.
Commissioner, Department of Conservation & Recreation (DCR)
View Commissioner Lambert's Bio

As part of a national campaign to promote outdoor places and activities, Governor Deval Patrick proclaimed June Great Outdoors Month celebrating all that nature has to offer across the Commonwealth. With more than 450,000 acres of state parklands in Massachusetts, there’s plenty of open space and opportunity to participate in healthy outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, and canoeing. June kicks off the summer vacation season, and many outdoor recreation activities began this month when many state parks, wildlife management areas, boat access points and other facilities reopened for the season giving visitors a chance to enjoy our wonderful natural resources.

Both our agencies, The Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), are hosting a variety of upcoming outdoor activities perfect for celebrating the great outdoors!

These include:

• Friends of Great Falls Discovery Center Family Fishing Day: Taking place on Saturday, June 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., this event is perfect for families of all ages and teaches participants how to cast a line, learn about fish in our waters, safety, ethics, and fishing equipment. Situated right on the Connecticut River, the Great Falls Discovery Center  also has a variety of other activities visitors can engage in such as touring the four-acre park and viewing the butterfly garden.

• Explore Your Parks: Learn the importance of being active and getting outdoors on Saturday, June 18 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. DCR rangers and volunteers across the state will lead hikes and other activities to encourage local communities to get outside and enjoy nature, while also demonstrating you don’t have to go far to do it. Many parks across Massachusetts offer exciting hiking and biking trails, fun climbing equipment and the chance to see a variety of wildlife. Your local community is the gateway to experiencing the beauty nature has to offer.

• Olympic Day Run/Walk: Celebrate Olympic Day by participating in DCR’s and Breakheart Reservation’s 5K Run in Saugus on June 25, 2011. While the course can be very hilly in some parts, participants also have the option of doing an alternative two mile walk. If you get tired, look around at the beautiful wooded area the course takes you through and congratulate yourself on your commitment to fitness.

• Beginner’s Paddle: If you’ve ever been curious about canoeing, Mother Brook Mill Pond invites all families out to Hyde Park on Sunday, June 26, 2011 for three free workshops on basic paddling taking place at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., and noon. The Mother Brook Mill Pond was the first canal made in the United States, and diverts water flow from the Charles River into the Neponset Basin. Visitors will also have access to trail and marsh areas, as well as a great deal of wildlife.

These are just a few opportunities for families to enjoy the great outdoors – you can always step into your own backyard and see which of nature’s wonders you can discover. Whether it’s sitting on your back porch and watching fireflies go by or hiking at a state park, we’re hoping Great Outdoors Month inspires you to rediscover nature at its finest. Check out outdoor events updated weekly at Massachusetts Outdoor Events.

Map of outdoor facilities: http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/recreation/publications/recreation_map.pdf

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