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Forest Service staff “Get Outside” in Lansing

Forest Service employees from the Northern Research Station and the Rocky Mountain Region helped inform and inspire youth to go camping at Michigan’s “Get Outside & Play at the Capitol” event. Forest Service photo.

The Northern Research Station joined forces with Rocky Mountain Region employees June 28 for “Get Outside & Play at the Capitol” in Lansing, Michigan. The annual event turned the Michigan State Capitol lawn into a recreation mecca that included canoe and kayak simulations, disc golf, fishing activities, bird watching, nature interpretation and more.

The event draws young people from communities throughout Michigan. It reduces some of the barriers to children’s access to the outdoors by providing guided exposure to nature and outdoor activities. Diane Gardin and Sharon Hobrla of the Northern Research Station’s lab in Lansing joined Jennifer Ross of the Rocky Mountain Region to teach kids about camping and hiking. They played a quiz-show style game where they learned “What should you take camping?” and got to experience hiking and camping via simulation. The Forest Service display also focused on nature activities and other experiences to be had on national forests.

More than 1,200 youth from communities throughout Michigan were expected to attend the “Get Outside & Play” event, which was hosted by the Michigan Recreation and Park Association, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan No Child Left Inside Coalition.