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Media inquiries: Please contact Julie Buchanan, julie.buchanan@dcr.virginia.gov, 804-786-2292.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: May 31, 2012
Contact: Steve Hawks, P.R. Coordinator, (804) 786-3334, steve.hawks@dcr.virginia.gov

Virginia State Parks to Participate in National Get Outdoors Day

(RICHMOND, VA) - Virginia State Parks will host special programs and events Saturday, June 9, as part of National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day) to encourage families to experience traditional and non-traditional outdoor activities. Prime goals of the day are reaching first-time visitors to public lands and reconnecting youngsters to the great outdoors.

The award-winning Virginia State Parks are managed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.

"There are as many different opportunities to explore Virginia State Parks as there are parks," said DCR State Parks Director Joe Elton. "You can learn about camping and camping gear at Caledon Natural Area in King George County; about nature photography or kayaking at York River State Park in James City County; or study the moon through a large telescope at Wilderness Road State Park in Lee County."

Programs across the state will feature guided nature hikes, geo-caching, canoeing and kayaking. Visitors wishing to explore on their own can rent GPS units or enjoy self-guided hikes. Many parks have available for checkout backpacks with binoculars, field guides and other useful tools. A list of the programs being offered can be found here: http://1.usa.gov/vspgoday. The Virginia State Parks search tool makes it easy to search by program, date or specific park and can be found here: http://1.usa.gov/vspsearch.

"Society has moved away from active outdoor recreation to its detriment," Elton said. "Childhood obesity, attention deficit disorders and even youth violence have all been linked to the absence of free play in the outdoors. Our public lands are amazing natural playgrounds, and GO Day is an opportunity to offer programs to people less familiar with outdoor recreational pursuits."

For more information about Virginia State Parks activities and amenities or to make reservations in one of the more than 1,800 campsites or 300 climate-controlled cabins, call the Virginia State Parks Reservation Center at 800-933-PARK or visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.


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