CONTACT:
Scott Fitzpatrick: (603) 856-8837 x 222
Marilyn Wyzga: (603) 271-1197
September 21, 2009

 "GET OUT AND PLAY!" WEEKEND OCTOBER 3-4, 2009

CONCORD, N.H. -- Turn off the television and computer, gather the family and friends, dress for the weather, and head off for an outdoor adventure!  Whether you strike out on your own or connect up with an event, October 3rd and 4th is the weekend to Get Out and Play!  "The research shows that children who engage in free play in nature are healthier, happier and smarter," said Marilyn Wyzga, a wildlife educator with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department.  "Here in New Hampshire, nature is all around us, and the possibilities are vast." 

There are many organizations, all across New Hampshire, hosting walks, hikes, bikes, picnics, and paddles for this event -- find one in your own community or plan a trip to a special location.  You can find a listing of organizations and events at: www.NHChildrenInNature.org.

"This first annual event is a great opportunity for children, youth and families to get out and reconnect with nature," said Scott Fitzpatrick of PlusTime NH.  "Around the state, you can join in planned programs, or gather friends, family and neighbors for a visit to a favorite nearby nature place.  How about a walk on town conservation land, a ramble in one of our great state parks, a bike ride on a rail trail, a nature play hour or perhaps an evening building fairy houses in a local woodland.  Join us - let's get out and play!"

Get Out and Play! Weekend follows the New Hampshire Children in Nature Coalition conference "Building Nature-Based Communities" which takes place on October 1, 2009, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at Camp Yavneh in Northwood, N.H. This statewide conference will provide community leaders and organizations with the resources, tools and support to make local change to reconnect children, youth and families with nature. If you're interested in finding ways to encourage kids and families to get outside and more involved with the natural world, register for the conference at http://nhcinc.eventbrite.com.

The New Hampshire Children and Nature Coalition is dedicated to fostering experiences in nature that improve physical and emotional health, increase understanding of the natural world, and promote stronger connections to community and landscape. The coalition got its start in 2007, when people from health, education, community planning and environmental sectors came together at a series of events to launch a New Hampshire initiative to reconnect children with nature and encourage children and families to get outside and active in the natural world. Find out more about the Coalition at www.NHChildrenInNature.org.

The "Building Nature-based Communities" conference and other N.H. Children and Nature Coalition events are made possible in part by generous contributions from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and The Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation.

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NH Fish and Game Dept.
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