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DEEP Announces the Great Outdoor Pursuit 2021

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is pleased to announce that registration for the No Child Left Inside® Great Outdoor Pursuit 2021 – Connecticut State Parks’ Family Adventure, will open on 9:00 a.m., Saturday, May 29, 2021 at www.NoChildLeftInside.org. Get outside with the family for some healthy fun, exercise, and to make memories together.

The No Child Left Inside® (NCLI) Great Outdoor Pursuit 2021 encourages families to get outside and explore many of the CT DEEP State Parks, Forests, and Wildlife Management Areas as well as local areas (backyard, neighborhood, park, forest, schoolyard, and land trust) over the 3-month summer period of June, July, and August.

Registered family teams will be provided with weekly clues, maps, and children’s book connections, as well as a mix of self-guided and in-person activities for them to enjoy Connecticut’s great outdoors together. Weekly adventures will have families exploring various CT State Parks and other outdoor places. They’ll be searching for a variety of “features” such as a garden or waterfalls; take part in fun activities while outside in nature; and photo journal their experiences. NCLI’s squirrel mascot, Nuts 2, is ready to share the Great Outdoor Pursuit this summer with children. Families will receive a paper copy of Nuts 2 which they can print out, color, and decorate to bring along with them on their CT State Parks family adventure.

Throughout the summer months, a variety of programs will bring families together safely and connect them as part of the larger NCLI community. The Great Outdoor Pursuit invites family teams to visit a variety of State Parks, Forests and Wildlife Management areas and participate in programs on-site. Each week, family teams will be provided with various outdoor activities they can do on their own, plus a listing of all in-person events being offered by DEEP’s Education and Outreach locations, Nature Centers, Museums and Wildlife Management Areas through the summer months. The following locations are included: Dinosaur State Park, Goodwin Conservation Center, Osbornedale State Park, Putnam Memorial State Park Visitors Center, Kellogg Environmental Center, Osborne Homestead Museum, Peoples State Forest Museum, Meigs Point Nature Center, Gillette Castle State Park-Castle Tour, Fort Trumbull State Park Visitors Center, Fort Griswold Battlefield Museum, Shenipsit State Forest CCC Museum, and Cottage Tours at Topsmead State Park. Participants will also be invited to in-person partner events/programs for CFPA’s Trails Day Weekend June 5th and 6, 2021 and CT Open House Day June 12, 2021. Other in-person, CT DEEP events and activities include fishing, boating, forestry, and camping out. It’s going to be a great summer to experience the outdoors as a family enjoying CT State Parks and other special outdoor spaces.

To be eligible for the final prize, families must be registered, complete a minimum of 7 weeks of adventures, and submit a photo journal at program completion. Registration is rolling this year to encourage more families to participate at their convenience and to expand NCLI’s reach across the state throughout this summer season. To sign up, families create their own team by registering on NoChildLeftInside.org starting Saturday, May 29, 2021 at 9:00 a.m.; teams must include at least one adult 18 years or older and one child under 18 years of age.

The Great Outdoor Pursuit is a series of outdoor activities designed to introduce families to the outdoors, build the next generation of environmental stewards, and showcase Connecticut’s State Parks and Forests.