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June 1, 2011

MADISON - Get Outdoors and Play! Wisconsin State Parks will offer a number of activities at locations around the state as they launch their Family Play Days program in 2011. The play days offerings are part of the ongoing "Get Outdoors! Wisconsin" promotion designed to provide a wide range of state park-based outdoor activities for families and individuals, all intended to encourage healthy outdoor activity.

In all, 17 state parks will offer nature-based recreational programs on either June 5, which is also Free Admission Day for all state parks, or throughout the summer on scheduled weekends. Family Fun Day events are listed under the Parks, Forest, Trail and Nature Center Events calendar on the DNR website.

Programs include nature art, eco-scavenger hunts, fishing, animal tracks, nature building, wildcard games (wildcards are business-card sized information keys to Wisconsin flora and fauna) and geocaching. Participating parks will have materials available and events will be led by park staff or volunteers.

"More green time, less screen time," is our slogan for getting out and enjoying state parks and trails and healthy lifestyle activities," said Sherry Klosiewski, chief naturalist for Wisconsin State Parks. "Recent surveys indicate that kids today spend an average of six-and-a-half hours per day with television, computers and video games. What we're doing here is offering alternatives that combine nature exploration and social interaction with family, friends and others."

Gov. Scott Walker has declared June to be Great Outdoors Month in Wisconsin. Along with appreciating our state's bountiful natural and cultural resources, he urges Wisconsinites to take "an opportunity to celebrate and experience the many outdoor activities that Wisconsin has to offer and to renew our commitment to conserving our air, water and land."

Wisconsin's first state park was established in 1900. Today, the Department of Natural Resources - State Parks and Trails System consists of 48 state parks, eight southern forests, 42 state trails and seven recreation areas. On June 25, 2011 Devil's Lake State Park, one of the most heavily visited parks in the system, will observe its 100th anniversary with events and dignitaries.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Sherry Klosiewski - (715) 356-8966

Last Revised: Wednesday, June 01, 2011

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