Get Outdoors & Get Together Day events will be held at 21 select locations across New York on Saturday, June 11. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks), in partnership with the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and the NYS Division of Veterans’ Services, are hosting free and low-cost events to connect people to nature and provide increased access to the outdoors. Get Outdoors & Get Together Day will bring people of all abilities, ages, identities and backgrounds together for fun, healthful activities as part of the state's initiative to broaden the diversity of users and ensure inclusivity of access to state public lands.
At 21 events across the state, participants will be encouraged to discover new skills and enjoy a range of introductory-level outdoor recreation activities such as fishing, nature walks and hikes, birding, archery, camping, paddling, and more. Each event will highlight ways to enjoy the outdoors safely and sustainably. All locations will offer a selection of accessible activities; and use of adaptive equipment and demonstrations will be provided at many sites including trail and beach mobility aids, archery assist stands, arm supports for fishing and more.
Special Olympics New York has encouraged their young athletes, ages 2-7, to participate in Get Outdoors & Get Together Day to build their skills and take part in the community. If you see some of these young athletes, be sure to say hi and cheer them on!
New York's Get Outdoors & Get Together Day coincides with National Get Outdoors Day, an annual event to encourage healthy, active outdoor fun.
The need for access to nature and outdoor recreation has never been greater. Childhood obesity has doubled oveSpecial Olympics New York has encouraged their young athletes, ages 2-7, to participate in Get Outdoors & Get Together Day to build their skills and take part in the community. If you see some of these young athletes, be sure to say hi and cheer them on! r the past 20 years, and the average American child spends as few as 30 minutes in unstructured outdoor play each day and more than seven hours each day in front of an electronic screen. During the COVID-19 pandemic, New Yorkers turned to the outdoors and public lands for a nature break, which is good for physical and mental health. Get Outdoors & Get Together Day events support New Yorkers of all ability levels in trying healthy outdoor activities.
DEC Event Locations
- Long Island: Hempstead Lake State Park (Nassau County)
- NYC: Mount Loretto Unique Area (Richmond County)
- Hudson Valley: Stony Kill Farm Environmental Education Center (Dutchess County)
- Hudson Valley: Long Dock Park (Dutchess County, in partnership with Scenic Hudson)
- Catskills: Kenneth L. Wilson Campground (Ulster County)
- Catskills: Catskills Visitor Center (Ulster County)
- Catskills: North-South Lake Campground (Greene County)
- Capital Region: Five Rivers Environmental Education Center (Albany County)
- Adirondacks: Scaroon Manor Campground (Warren County)
- Western Adirondacks: Lowville Forestry Demonstration Area (Lewis County)
- Central NY: Rogers Environmental Education Center (Chenango County)
- Central NY: In conjunction with the ADK Outdoor Expo (Monroe County)
- Western NY: Reinstein Woods Environmental Education Center (Erie County)
All locations offer wheelchair-accessible features and activities including restrooms and select recreation opportunities. Please contact the event coordinator directly with accommodation requests and to find out about the adaptive equipment and activities offered at each site.
Activities at DEC facilities include the following:
Fishing: The I Fish NY program will offer free catch-and-release fishing clinics for everyone. 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.
Birding: 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.
Accessible outdoor recreation: Experience and learn about accessible outdoor recreation opportunities on State lands including hiking, camping, birding, fishing and boating.
At Long Dock Park, participants will be able to sein for fish in the Hudson River, learning about indigenous fishing techniques in addition to learning to fish with a rod and reel. A Spanish interpreter will be onsite for this event.
In addition to the event at Mt. Loretto, DEC and NOAA will also be hosting a seining and net fishing event from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. at Lemon Creek Park on Staten Island as part of World Fish Migration Day.
All DEC events are free. Guests are encouraged to bring picnic lunches and their own games or sporting equipment. Details, including schedules and registration requirements, can be found on DEC's website. Note that event times vary.
State Park Event Locations
- Long Island: Sunken Meadow State Park
- Niagara: Buffalo Harbor State Park
- Genesee: Hamlin Beach State Park
- Allegany: Allegany State Park
- Saratoga/Capital Region: Saratoga Spa State Park
- Finger Lakes: Taughannock Falls State Park
- NYC: Denny Farrell Riverbank State Park
- Taconic: Lake Taghkanic State Park
Program and scheduling details for each location can be found by visiting parks.ny.gov. See the full listing of Get Outdoors & Get Together Day events at NYS Parks. Guests are encouraged to bring picnic lunches and their own games or sporting equipment. For details about visitor amenities at each location, visit parks.ny.gov.
DEC manages nearly five million acres of public lands, including three million acres in the Adirondack and Catskill forest preserves, 55 campgrounds and day-use areas, more than 5,000 miles of formal trails and hundreds of trailheads, boat launches and fishing piers. Plan your next outdoor adventure and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Instagram.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by a record 78.4 million people in 2021. A recent study found that New York State Parks generates $5 billion in park and visitor spending, which supports nearly 54,000 jobs. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518.474.0456. Also, connect on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) provides high-quality person-centered supports and services to people with developmental disabilities, including intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorders, and other neurological impairments. OPWDD provides services directly and through a network of over 600 not-for-profit providers. OPWDD’s mission is to help people live richer lives that include meaningful relationships, good health, personal growth and a home that allows them to participate in their community.