Around the Valley: DEM offers summer programs for adults, families & youth

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PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Fish and Wildlife is offer a number of summer activities for 2021, from fishing days and archery lessons, to hunter education and virtual wildlife conservation programs. DEM’s Aquatic Resource Education, Hunter Education, and Wildlife Outreach program staff have planned a summer full of opportunities for youth and adults to learn about Rhode Island’s fish and wildlife resources or try out a new outdoor skill.

“Summer is the perfect time to get outside and try out a new outdoor activity,” said Emily George, supervising biologist and member of the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s outreach and education staff. “However, sometimes starting a new activity can be hard. Diving into activities like archery, clamming, or fishing can be a big step and like myself, not everyone grew up engaged in these activities.”

DEM’s Fish and Wildlife outreach team has crafted a menu of summer programs for both aspiring and avid outdoor enthusiasts and their families. Opportunities are available to try a new outdoor adventure, fine tune your current skill set, tune in virtually to learn about local conservation projects, or sign up to volunteer in community science projects. Most of the programs offered this summer are free of charge and family friendly. A list of programs and registration information is below. For a complete list of up to date programs, you can also visit http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/fish-wildlife/.

Aquatic Resource Education Programs

  • Family Learn to Fish Events; Ages 5+, parent or legal guardian must be present: Enjoy a private fishing lesson with your family at our pond.

Dates: June 2, 9, 16, & 23

Times: One family per hour, by appointment; 9 a.m., 10 a.m. or 11 a.m.

Location: DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife Outdoor Education Office, 1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter

Registration: Contact dana.kopec.ctr@dem.ri.gov

Cost: Free

  • Come Clam with Me 101; All ages, parent or legal guardian must be present: Learn how to dig for clams, equipment needed, and the management strategies that have kept Rhode Island in the quahogging industry. Commercial quahogger Jody King will instruct people of all ages about the ins and outs of recreational clamming.

Dates, Times, & Locations:

June 25, 1 – 4 p.m., North Kingstown Town Beach
July 23, 12 – 3 p.m., Colt State Park
July 26, 2 – 5 p.m., Rocky Point State Park
August 10, 2 – 5 p.m., Rocky Point State Park
August 23, 1 – 4 p.m., Colt State Park

Registration: Space is limited. Registration required. Contact kimberly.sullivan@dem.r.gov to register.

Cost: $5/person for registrants 8 years of age and older.

Hunter Education Programs

  • Tree Stand Safety Workshop; Ages 10+, parent or legal guardian must be present: Get ready for fall by learning how to safely set up and hunt from your tree stand with our instructors.

Date: June 13

Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Location: DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife Outdoor Education Office, 1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter

Registration: https://forms.gle/j4x1WdnViqXGcMMx9

Cost: Free

  • Hunter Safety Education; All ages, parent or legal guardian must be present: New to hunting? You are required to take this basic safety course in order to purchase your hunting license and tags.

Dates: June 26 & 27 (must attend both sessions) and August 4, 5, & 6 (must attend all 3 sessions)

Time: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Location: DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife Outdoor Education Office, 1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter

Registration: https://forms.gle/nzsYoZ1nEkcwtMRs7

Cost: Free

  • Archery 101; Ages 10+, parent or legal guardian must be present: If you have never tried archery or are new to the sport, this is the perfect workshop for you! Learn the basics of archery with our staff in a relaxed setting. All equipment provided.

Dates: July 8, 15, 22, 29, August 19 & 26

Time: 6 students per hour, by appointment; 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m.

Location: DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife Outdoor Education Office, 1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter

Registration: Contact dana.kopec.ctr@dem.ri.gov

Cost: Free

  • Bowhunter Education; All ages, parent or legal guardian must be present: This course is required if you plan to purchase an archery deer tag in Rhode Island.

Dates: July 11

Time: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Location: RIDEM Division of Fish and Wildlife Outdoor Education Office, 1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter

Registration: https://forms.gle/YxEwkV9spXaDvkZWA

Cost: Free

  • Land Navigation Course; Ages 10+, parent or legal guardian must be present: Whether you are a hunter, hiker, or just spend a lot of time in the outdoors, this is the class for you! On day one, learn how to navigate with a compass and topographic map and take a pace count; on day two, test your skills at our outdoor land navigation course.

Dates: July 17 & 18 (must attend both sessions)

Time: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Location: DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife Outdoor Education Office, 1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter

Registration: https://forms.gle/68223t4RhhS6tyLc7

Cost: Free

  • Deer Hunting Workshop; Ages 10+, parent or legal guardian must be present: If you are new to deer hunting or just need a refresher, this is a great place to get started. Instructors will cover topics such as appropriate camouflage, following a blood trail, game signs, deer habits and habitat.

Dates: August 22

Time: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Location: DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife Outdoor Education Office, 1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter

Registration: https://forms.gle/whUNApfoAgk27hjPA

Cost: Free

Wildlife Outreach Programs

  • Snake Safari; All ages: Join us for a live search for snakes in the wild! Learn about wildlife habitat, the benefits of snakes in the ecosystem, and how you can get involved as a reptile and amphibian community scientist.

Date: June 12

Time: 10 – 11 a.m.

Location: Virtual

Registration: https://forms.gle/ofoRfstB4Gz7nGdJ6

Cost: Free

  • Wildlife Conservation Q&A; Ages: Adults:  Do you have a burning question about Rhode Island’s diverse wildlife? Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a wildlife biologist? Are you interested in learning about wildlife conservation in Rhode Island? Join the DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife for a virtual Q&A session with our staff.

Date: June 17

Time: 6 – 7 p.m.

Location: Virtual

Registration: https://forms.gle/8hw4ipkigBiNbEpq7

Cost: Free

  • Wildlife Solutions: Vegetable Vandals; Ages: Adults: RABBITS, GROUNDHOGS and DEER: The bane of many gardeners’ existence are these three critters. As frustrating as these fuzzy felons may be, they are important to Rhode Island’s ecosystem, acting as valuable natural resources in our state. This session will give you tools to protect your crops and cover the rules and regulations for hunting and trapping on private property and highlight the New England Cottontail Project and deer program.

Date: July 7

Time: 7 – 8:30 p.m.

Location: Virtual

Registration: https://forms.gle/XSwxijcM6eBLA92R9

Cost: Free

  • Bird Basics; Ages: 12+: Join us for an informative virtual program on birds. Learn about Rhode Island bird conservation work, ways to welcome birds to your backyard, and some easy-to-use resources to help you begin your journey as a bird nerd.

Date: July 13

Time: 6 – 7 p.m.

Location: Virtual

Registration: https://forms.gle/vBYNKex8dz4dev2A9

Cost: Free

  • Community Science: Easy as Survey123; All Ages: Have you seen a mother deer with her fawns recently? How about a turkey with some little poults running around? Report your sightings to biologists quickly and securely with the tap of your finger using an app on your smartphone or PC! Tune in to explore the fun and simple ways you can help monitor wildlife in the state with the DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife. This program will be filled with fun facts and trivia on turkeys and deer and will grant you the power to contribute to community science through your fingertips!

Date: August 10

Time: 6 – 7 p.m.

Location: Virtual

Registration: https://forms.gle/UwZgmGHH1XQr7Ee88

Cost: Free

  • Rhode Island’s Owls; All ages: DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife and the Audubon Society of Rhode Island are teaming up for this fun event on owls! DEM staff will be sharing information about our state’s owls and the data collected by volunteers during the RI Breeding Bird Atlas 2.0, followed by a meet and greet with one of Audubon’s ambassador owls.

Date: August 12

Time: 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Location: Virtual

Registration: https://forms.gle/r9cVQvTeVZz2QYWg8

Cost: Free

Volunteer Program

The DEM Division of Fish & Wildlife offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities throughout the year, connecting the community with meaningful, wildlife-related projects. Volunteers assist state biologists with wildlife surveys, habitat maintenance, disease monitoring and much more. Request to join our volunteer email list to receive information on new and upcoming opportunities by emailing: DEM.DFWvolunteer@dem.ri.gov.

For more information on the DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife, visit http://www.dem.ri.gov/programs/fish-wildlife/.

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