FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 11, 2020
Caryn Shinske (609) 984-1795
Lawrence Hajna (609) 292-2994
(20/P038) TRENTON – To showcase the importance of nature and get girls involved in the great outdoors, the New Jersey State Park Service is hosting a variety of outdoor activities Saturday, Sept. 12 and Sunday, Sept. 13 in conjunction with the 2nd Annual “Girl Scouts Love State Parks” campaign, Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe announced.
This year’s programs will feature three types of programming: in-person, self-guided and virtual activities at parks across the state. Experiencing and appreciating the outdoors is an integral part of the Girl Scouts leadership mission. Girl Scouts of the USA launched the nationwide outdoors campaign program in 2019.
“New Jersey’s outdoors offer a wider variety of fun and educational activities for visitors of all ages,” Commissioner McCabe said. “Giving our youth the opportunity to learn about New Jersey history through conservation and appreciation of our natural surroundings will help transform them into tomorrow’s environmental stewards, ensuring the protection of our parks, forests and historic sites for future generations.”
Many of New Jersey's state parks, forests and historic sites will host outdoor activities including nature walks, scavenger hunts, lighthouse identification, survivor-shelter building and more. Some programs will be offered virtually or in a self-guided format to minimize contact with others.
Among the weekend’s highlights, Girl Scouts can do a self-guided driving tour of five historic sites that are a part of the NJ Women's Heritage Trail. Scouts can visit from one to five of these sites, which include New Bridge Landing in Bergen County, Rockingham in Somerset County, Monmouth Battlefield in Monmouth County, Double Trouble State Park in Ocean County, and Whitesbog Village in Burlington County.
Some of the participating parks include Liberty State Park, Double Trouble, D&R Canal, Rockingham Historic Site, Cheesequake, Washington Crossing State Park, Bass River State Park and Cape May. A self-guided nature program can be downloaded and completed at any park the girls choose. Programs are offered for Girl Scouts at all levels, from Daisies up to Ambassadors.
Girl Scouts and their leaders may register for programs at their Girl Scout Council websites. All girls participating in the program’s activities will receive a 2020 "Girl Scouts Love State Parks" fun patch.
Since its founding in 1912, the Girl Scouts organization has been committed to ensuring every girl has a positive outdoor experience. The Girl Scout Research Institute's "More than S'mores" report found that girls with more frequent and longer-in-duration outdoor experiences are more likely than their peers with less outdoor exposure to seek challenges and be better problem solvers, essential traits to becoming strong leaders.
The 450,000-acre New Jersey State Park System includes parks, forests, historic sites, recreation areas, battlefields and marinas. These areas provide health and fitness opportunities, outdoor classrooms to study nature, greenways for wildlife conservation, links to history and regional tourism opportunities.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, parking at state parks remains limited to 50 percent capacity and visitors will be turned away from parks that have reached capacity.
When visiting a park or forest, visitors are reminded to:
The Division of Parks and Forestry has "I Heart NJ Parks" and "I Heart NJ Forests" social media campaigns, #IHeartNJParks and #IHeartNJForests that provide opportunities for visitors to highlight favorite parks, forests, and historic sites on their personal social media accounts.
Like the New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry page on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/newjerseystateparks
Parks visitors can sign up for email alerts through the Park Service website at https://njparksandforests.org
To find the state park or forest near you, visit www.spstrailtracker.nj.gov
Follow the New Jersey State Park Service on Instagram @newjerseystateparks
Follow the DEP on Twitter @NewJerseyDEP