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November 30, 2010

MADISON - If Black Friday and Cyber-Monday failed to meet all your seasonal gift-giving needs, eight low or no-cost gifts available online from the Department of Natural Resources can help finish the job and bring smiles and benefits to the recipients for years to come.

These eight gift ideas -- ranging from state park passes, to free coupons you can give someone for a future fishing trip, to publications about the outdoors -- will help you, your family and your friends make the most of the state's beautiful lakes, rivers, state parks and other special places.

They won't break the bank (some are even free); they're convenient to get and give; and they'll leave everyone, including Mother Earth, feeling better, and, will make you smarter.

"Head out for a daily dose of green space," counsels Jane Brody, longtime health writer for The New York Times, in an article Nov. 30, 2010 (exit DNR). She details how the National Wildlife Federation, state agencies, insurance companies and others are banding together to help more people engage in physical activity in parks and other natural environments.

"As for its health and educational benefits, the federation cites scientific findings that outdoor play enhances fitness, raises blood levels of vitamin D (which in turn protects against bone loss, heart disease, diabetes and other health problems), improves distance vision, lowers the risk of nearsightedness, reduces symptoms of stress and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, raises scores on standardized tests and improves students' critical-thinking skills," Brody writes.

The online guide will put you a click away from most of these gifts. In some cases, you may need to make a call or e-mail someone to secure the gift.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Lisa Gaumnitz (608) 264-8942

Last Revised: Tuesday, November 30, 2010

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