DCNR: Kids In Nature Contests Foster Interest In Environment, Outdoor Activities

DCNR Secretary Ellen Ferretti has announced two contests to foster the goals of Kids in Nature, a department-wide effort to introduce more families to outdoors fun and adventures.

“As part of our Kids In Nature Program, we will be offering contests designed to draw families to Pennsylvania’s state parks and state forestlands,” Ferretti said. “Running simultaneously over the next several months, the contests will encourage families to participate in hikes, environmental education programs and other activities. At the same time, we’ll be encouraging visits to new state parks and forests.”

Unveiled in late April, the Kids In Nature program is committed to renewing family interest in the outdoors and combatting the public’s mounting disconnect from the natural resources around them.

“KIN is a department-wide program working to raise the public’s awareness of existing opportunities for connecting children to the wonders of nature,” Ferretti said. “We hope to help families to reconnect with nature by providing activity ideas, outing guides, and encouraging active involvement in our parks’ and forests’ recreation and education programs.”

Contest requirements, entry forms and other details can be found at the program website.

Participants earn the chance to win prizes or Facebook notoriety in competitive events that include:

-- Kids in Nature Contest, a traditional survey-completion contest that runs later this week through December 31 and is open to families and individuals under the age of 21. Participants must enter by completing an online survey form and “earn” entry opportunities by visiting parks or forests and engaging in educational programs, hikes or other offered activities.

Prizes, to be determined in a January 2015 drawing, will include:  Grand prize: a behind-the-scenes tour with Bureau of State Parks staff, and two nights of free camping at the winner’s chosen state park; second- to fourth-place prizes (three): two nights of free camping; and fifth- to eighth-place prizes (four): 2015 Pa. State Parks calendars.

-- Capture the Flag, a social media twist on the childhood game “Capture the Flag.” State parks will post a picture of a flag hidden within their park; provide a clue; and encourage participants to be the first to find it and post their family or child’s picture with the flag on Facebook. Open to families and participants under 21, the competition runs through September 4.

Aside from weekly announcements of individual winners, successful “Capture the Flag” entrants will not receive official prizes, but online provisions will enable them to enter the larger Kids in Nature contest.

“These contests are just a fun-filled extension of what DCNR staff does every day—work tirelessly to connect people of all ages to nature through the public lands we manage and help support,” Ferretti said. “These Kids in Nature efforts will step up our efforts to raise the environmental awareness of children and their families, and, hopefully, get them actively involved in recreation, educational programs and environmental careers.”

For more information, visit the PA Kids In Nature Contests webpage for all the details.

(Reprinted from the July 9 DCNR Resource newsletter.  Click Here to register to receive your own copy (bottom of the page))


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