Rhode Island Offering Nature Education Programs This Fall – Patch

COVENTRY, RI — With comfortable temperatures and beautiful foliage, fall is a perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy the beauty of nature. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is hosting several nature-based education programs to help residents do just that.
From family bird watching and hunter education classes to a beautiful guided outdoor walk, there’s something for everyone, and most of the programs are free. See a list of some great fall activities DEM is offering below:
Are you interested in hunting or target shooting, but don’t know where to start? Designed for beginners, in this course you’ll learn about the six actions of firearms, ammunition, storage, transport, safety and more. The program is for ages 10 and older. Those under 18 will require a parent or guardian to attend.
The program will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday at the Hope Library at 374 North Road.
New to hunting? Need some guidance? DEM is here to help.
Students will be split into groups and assigned an instructor to assist with activities. Each group will be given coordinates to find their own hunting camp and hike to the destination, while encountering some surprise wilderness first-aid scenarios. Students will learn to safely carry training firearms through the woods and around obstacles while maintaining safe muzzle control.
At the camp, the group will work together to build a natural ground blind and set up a provided tree stand. Everyone will sit through a simulated hunt while discussing various aspects of what they should be observing.
Finally, students will follow a blood trail to a downed 3-D animal where they will learn what to do after the shot as well as field dressing techniques. All equipment is provided. Do not bring your own firearms or ammunition.
Students should come dressed for a day outdoors, involving on and off trail hiking and sitting for long periods of time. Indoor bathrooms are on site, as well as a refrigerator and microwave. Bring bug spray, lunch and snacks and non-alcoholic beverages. Class is rain or shine unless severe weather is predicted, in which participants will be notified.
The program is for ages 10 and older. Those under 18 will require a parent or guardian to attend.
The program will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 15 at the RIDEM Division of Fish and Wildlife Outdoor Education Office in Exeter.
Are you interested in creating wildlife habitat on your own land? The Rhode Island Coverts Workshop is a great place to start.
This workshop will provide you with background information on wildlife habitat, ecological concepts and forest management practices that you can apply at a smaller scale.
You’ll meet professionals from various organizations to learn how to help wildlife on your property, and will take a field trip to see past participants’ habitat projects. Staff from DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife and DEM’s Division of Agriculture and Forest Environment will be joining the lineup of speakers for this workshop, in partnership with the RI Resource Conservation & Development Area Council, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the University of Rhode Island.
This program will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 15 at the Canonicus Camp and Conference Center at 54 Exeter Road in Exeter. Call Paul Dolan at 401-500-0399 or email rircd2283@gmail.com to register.
The Division of Fish and Wildlife is teaming up with the Pawtuxet River Authority and Watershed Council for a morning of fall nature fun. RIDEM Wildlife Outreach staff will be leading a family bird walk and will be sharing information about the RI Breeding Bird Atlas 2.0. There will also be nature crafts and other fun activities for the whole family. Questions? Contact PRATakeFiveChallenge@gmail.com.
This program takes place from 10 a.m. to noon, Oct. 22 at 2 Lincoln Ave. in Coventry.

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