Thursday, August 9, 2012

MO State Parks Teaches Ways to Enjoy Outdoors and Missouri "Children in Nature" Communities

English: Pickle Creek at Hawn State Park in St...
Pickle Creek at Hawn State Park in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Missouri State Parks offers ways to have fun in the outdoors

For more information: 573-751-1010

 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. Spending time outdoors can be even more enjoyable when you know how to do some fun activities. Missouri State Parks is offering you the opportunity to learn these activities in its free Learn2 Experience the Outdoors Program during August.

During each weekend in August, state park staff will show you how to kayak on a river or lake; try your hand at archery; find hidden secrets through geocaching; or prepare a delicious meal in a Dutch oven. Missouri State Parks will supply the equipment and the expertise. You supply the enthusiasm and eagerness to discover nature and a new skill.

“Anytime you can have a great experience in a state park, it makes your visit to the outdoors even more fun. Sharing these experiences with your friends and family creates memories that will last a lifetime,” says Bill Bryan, director of Missouri State Parks, a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.  

The Learn2 Experience the Outdoors Program will be held on the following dates and locations:
  • Aug. 4 – Hawn State Park, Ste. Genevieve – geocaching and Dutch oven cooking
  • Aug. 11 – Pomme de Terre State Park, Pittsburg – archery and kayaking
  • Aug. 18 – Mark Twain State Park, Stoutsville – archery and kayaking
  • Aug. 25 – Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, Columbia – geocaching and Dutch oven cooking

Participants must be 10 years of age to participate in kayaking or archery. Children 17 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  

The Learn2 Experience the Outdoors is the third in a series of Learn2 programs sponsored this summer by Missouri State Parks. A Learn2 Camp Program was held in June and a Learn2 Paddle Program is being offered in July.

Registration is required and classes are expected to fill up quickly. To register for the event or for more information on state parks and historic sites, go to mostateparks.com. Missouri State Parks is a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. 

Joplin and Kirksville recognized and Children in Nature communities

For more information: 573-751-1010

 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. Joplin and Kirksville have been recognized as Missouri Children in Nature communities for creating an environment that encourages children to get outdoors and enjoy nature. The cities were recognized in a ceremony July 23 in the Governor’s Office.

The Children in Nature Challenge was created by executive order to challenge Missouri communities to enhance children’s education about nature and to increase children’s opportunities to personally experience nature and the outdoors.

"Children appear to benefit physically, mentally and even spiritually by reconnecting with nature, and we need to provide them with the opportunities to do so," said Georganne Nixon, First Lady of Missouri. "We are pleased to announce the cities of Joplin and Kirksville have successfully completed the challenge."

To successfully complete the challenge, the communities must meet several criteria, including increasing awareness of opportunities to connect to nature; providing outdoor activities and events; enhancing and creating outdoor areas; encouraging the use of nature-based curriculum in schools; and partnering with local organizations and businesses to connect children with nature. Joplin and Kirksville join the cities of Des Peres and Jackson, who completed the challenge this spring, and Springfield, who completed the challenge in 2011.

For more information about the Children in Nature Challenge, visit http://childreninnature.mo.gov/.