NEW YORK (WWTI) — This month, and throughout the summer, New Yorkers will be encouraged to “Get Outdoors” through statewide celebrations.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos has announced that the DEC annual celebration of “Outdoors Day” will be held on multiple days this summer, at locations throughout the state to accommodate social distancing and other precautions.

According to the DEC, “Outdoors Day” is typically held on June 12 at events across the state where participants are encouraged to discover new skills and are introduced to a range of outdoor recreation activities.

This includes fishing, nature walks, hikes, birdwatching, archery, camping and paddling. A new event in 2021 will focus on accessible outdoor recreation.

Commissioner Seggos confirmed that events will be held at no cost to attendees, aiming to connect people with nature and provide access to the outdoors.

“More and more New Yorkers are getting outdoors close to home and connecting with nature, especially during the pandemic,” stated Commissioner Seggos. “This year, New York is celebrating Outdoors Day over multiple days and at multiple locations to make sure all of our communities have the opportunity to get outside and safely enjoy some once-in-a-lifetime experiences and make lasting memories in the process.”

 “Now more than ever, New Yorkers are visiting their parks and public lands to connect with nature and to safely explore the great outdoors,” added State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid. “This year’s Outdoors Day will offer even more opportunities for all New Yorkers to be introduced and celebrate the rewarding experiences that the outdoors provide.”

To celebrate this annual event in 2021, the DEC is hosting family-friendly Outdoors Day events throughout New York during the month of June. Many activities will take place on June 12, but will also include some in August.

Activities at DEC facilities include the following:

  • Fishing:
    • The I Fish NY program will offer free catch-and-release fishing clinics for all ages. Learn about fishing equipment, techniques, regulations, consumption advisories, and good places to fish. Participants may bring their own gear, but rods and reels will also be available for loan.
  • Camping 101:
    • Visitors can try their hand at camping basics by pitching a tent on the lawn and learning how to pack for a camping trip. When the day is complete, participants will be prepared for an outdoor adventure of their own.
  • Paddling:
    • Participants can learn the basics of this fun fast-growing sport and try getting out on the water.
  • Archery:
    • Participants can try getting a bullseye with a bow and arrow and learn important safety tips.
  • Birdwatching:
    • Participants can learn how easy and fun it is to enjoy birdwatching almost anywhere.
  • Hiking:
    • Participants can take a short hike and learn the basics of finding the perfect trails on their own.
  • Outdoor safety:
    • Learn the basics of being prepared and safe so all outdoor adventures are good ones.
  • Adaptive outdoor recreation:
    • Experience and learn about adaptive outdoor recreation in the Adirondacks with pontoon boat rides, an adaptive fishing clinic, camping demonstrations, interpretive hikes, and more.

Most sites are wheelchair accessible. A full list of events and locations can be found on the DEC website.