Spring Into Spring By Signing Up For A DEM Outdoors Course Published on Tuesday, February 06, 2024 PROVIDENCE, RI – The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) has another season of great spring programs scheduled to connect Rhode Islanders with our state’s beautiful natural resources. From vernal pool night to spring turkey hunting to birds, bees, and botany there’s something for everyone. DFW’s Aquatic Resource Education, Hunter Education, Wildlife Outreach and Volunteer programs have planned a schedule with plenty of opportunities to learn about Rhode Island’s fish and wildlife resources or to try out a new outdoor skill. Most of the programs being offered this spring are free of charge and family friendly. A list of programs and registration information are listed below. For a complete list of up-to-date programs, click here AQUATIC RESOURCE EDUCATION PROGRAMS Women’s Beginner Fly Tying Learn to tie freshwater flies for fly fishing. Geared towards beginners but open to all skill levels. All materials and equipment provided. Date: Monday, March 11 Time: 5-7 PM Location: Middletown Public Library, 700 W Main Rd – Middletown, RI Registration: Email Dana.Kopec.CTR@dem.ri.gov HUNTER EDUCATION PROGRAMS Bowhunter Education Certification Course - 3 DAY In a classroom and field setting you will learn about the basics of modern-day archery hunting and safe hunting practices in accordance with the International Hunter Education Association standards. Please note: There is a 50-question multiple choice test at the end of the class which is written to a 6th grade/12-year-old reading level. Participants must be at least 11 years old on the final day of class to take the test. Date: Thursday, March 7 (6-8:30 PM), Friday, March 8 (6-8:30 PM), and Saturday, March 9 (9 AM-12 PM). Participants must attend all days. Location: Kettle Pond Visitors Center – Charlestown, RI Registration: https://forms.gle/1BfM7hJMyEEj6ZvD9 Hunter Education Certification Course - 2 DAY A 10-hour course following the curriculum set forth by the International Hunter Education Association as a national standard to produce safe, knowledgeable, and responsible hunters. This course provides reciprocity in all 50 states. There are 100 questions true/false and multiple-choice exam at the end in order to receive the safety certification necessary to purchase a hunting license. This course is open to all ages, but students must be age 11+ on the last day of the class to be eligible to sit for the state exam. Date: Friday, March 15 and Sunday, March 17 Time: Friday (5-9PM) and Sunday (9AM-3PM). Attendees must attend both days. Location: Kettle Pond Visitors Center - Charlestown, RI Registration: https://forms.gle/Bj5jYKHm5corMSz7A Women’s Bowhunter Education Certification Course - 2 DAY March is Women’s History Month and to pay homage to this occasion, DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife is offering a Women’s Bowhunter Safety Certification Course. Upon successful completion, students will be eligible to hunt in RI with archery equipment. This course is open to anyone age 16+. Date: Monday, March 25 and Tuesday, March 26 Time: 5-9PM, both days. Attendees must attend both days. Location: Kettle Pond Visitors Center – Charlestown, RI Registration: https://forms.gle/9KKRaaypBP2kk4Ck9 Intro to Turkey Hunting Workshop This class is geared toward the beginner turkey hunter or used as a refresher for seasoned ones! Teamed up with subject experts, and the RI Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF). DEM’s Hunter Education Program will host the annual “Intro to Turkey Hunting Workshop” Participants will learn basic biology and behavior of the eastern wild turkey, how to scout, where to best set up their hunt spot, the gear you will need and much more! Date: Saturday, March 30 Time: 9 AM-2 PM Location: Wallum Lake Rod and Gun Club, Harrisville RI Registration: https://forms.gle/UWeYcLmqyCYihLjh8 DEM and The Light Foundation Youth Turkey Mentored Hunt DEM is partnering with The Light Foundation for the fourth year in a row to offer the 2024 Youth Turkey Mentored Hunt, an exciting youth hunting and outdoor experience in Rhode Island for ages 12-15 years old. Spring turkey hunts are always a challenge, and there's nothing like a big tom gobbling on the run. Apply today! Date: Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20 Details and application to attend: https://dem.ri.gov/natural-resources-bureau/fish-wildlife/outreach-education/hunter-education/rhode-island-youth Wilderness First-Aid (virtual) Join us for a family friendly overview of common medical and trauma emergencies with some wilderness considerations. This is a non-certification course taught by an EMT/Firefighter with over 20 years of experience who is also an outdoor education instructor. This course uses real-world outdoor examples such as hunting, hiking, and fishing. Date: Monday, May 20 Time: 6-8PM Location: Virtual - registrants will be sent Zoom login link. Registration: https://forms.gle/JTcMgzk8hn2oXktDA WILDLIFE OUTREACH PROGRAMS Come Birding with Me! Come on a birdwatching adventure, part of the Free Family Fun Day series at the Audubon Society of Rhode Island (ASRI)! Special guest Dr. Charles Clarkson, Director of Avian Research for ASRI, will be teaming up with DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife outreach staff to share information about The Second Atlas of Breeding Birds in Rhode Island. We’ll then head out for a bird walk, searching for birds in a few different habitats. Binoculars will be available to borrow. Want to build your bird nerd knowledge? After the walk, visit the Audubon gift shop to buy your own copy of the Atlas! This program is free to attend, but registration is required. Date: Saturday, March 2 Time: 1-2:30 PM Location: Audubon Society of Rhode Island Nature Center and Aquarium, Bristol, RI All ages welcome! Registration: https://forms.office.com/g/eCmLZ1kBwg Carolina Vernal Pool Night Spring has sprung and amphibians are on the move! Join us for an evening walk listening and looking for wood frogs, spring peepers, toads, and salamanders! As we search for these slimy creatures, you’ll learn about various DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife conservation projects aimed at helping our state’s amphibians, as well as ways you can get involved to help right in your own backyard. This program is FREE to attend, but registration is required. Date: Friday, March 22 Time: 6-8 PM Location: Carolina Management Area – Richmond, RI Adults and families with children ages 8+ Registration: https://forms.office.com/g/hziJV0vqB8 Project WILD & Rhody Critter Kits Educator Training Calling all K-5 teachers, join DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife’s outreach and education staff for a fun and free professional development opportunity! You’ll learn all about the national Project WILD and Growing Up WILD curricula and how you can apply them in your classroom. You’ll also learn about DEM’s Rhody Critter Kits, which combine activities from both curricula with information about local wildlife conservation work happening right in your own backyard. At the end of the day, you’ll head home with a Project WILD and Growing Up WILD curriculum book, connections to real science happenings here in Rhode Island, and ways to share this with your students! Lunch will be provided. This training is free, but registration is required. To learn more about Project WILD, visit: https://www.fishwildlife.org/projectwild To learn more about the Rhody Critter Kits, visit: www.dem.ri.gov/critterkits Date: Tuesday, April 2 Time: 9 AM-3:30 PM Location: USFWS Kettle Pond Visitor Center in Charlestown, RI Age: Adults Registration: https://forms.office.com/g/zSiRAvy2Yc Wolf Hill Vernal Pool Night Spring has sprung and amphibians are on the move! Join us for an evening walk listening and looking for wood frogs, spring peepers, toads, and salamanders! As we search for these slimy creatures, you’ll learn about various DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife conservation projects aimed at helping our state’s amphibians, as well as ways you can get involved to help right in your own backyard. This program is FREE to attend, but registration is required. Special thanks to the Smithfield Land Trust for partnering with us on this program! Date: Saturday, April 13 Time: 6-8 PM Location: Wolf Hill Preserve – Smithfield, RI Age: Adults and families with children ages 8+ Registration: https://forms.office.com/g/L67LGBGLxs Sky Dance Night Kick back, relax, and join DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife to witness one of spring's most exciting events, the sunset "sky dance" of the American woodcock! While waiting for these quirky birds to begin their theatrical performance, you’ll learn about our collaborative research efforts with URI graduate students and young forest habitat conservation work. This event is free to attend, but registration is required. Date: Wednesday, April 17 Time: 7:00-8:30 PM Location: Arcadia Management Area - Exeter RI Age: Adults Registration: https://forms.office.com/g/4uscHH9mpG Wildlife Solutions: Bumbling Babies Why is there a fawn on my lawn? What should I do if I find a baby bird? Where do bats have their babies? Got baby brain? Find the answers to all of these questions and more with the DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife Outreach Team! Learn about where and when baby wildlife is born in Rhode Island, and why and how biologists are studying them! This will be a HYBRID program in partnership with the Jesse M. Smith Memorial Library. Join us in-person at the library or tune in from the comfort of your own home! This program is FREE, but registration is required so that we can prepare materials and send Zoom links for those attending online. Date: Wednesday, May 8 Time: 6-7:30 PM Location: HYBRID- In person (Jesse M. Smith Memorial Library- Harrisville RI. OR via Zoom) Age: Adults Registration: https://forms.office.com/g/n44ZcngRL6 Birds, Bees & Botany Enjoy the glory of birdsong, buzzing bees, and fresh green leaves at the Tyler Free Library in Foster! Join DEM’s Division of Fish and Wildlife staff to learn about Rhode Island's migratory birds and the efforts of the RI Breeding Bird Atlas 2.0. While we look and listen for birds, we'll also keep an eye out for bumblebees and other pollinators, and you'll get the scoop on how to get involved in our latest community science project helping our state's bees. We'll be pointing out important plants for birds and bees along the way, so you can learn how to create habitat right in your own backyard! This program is FREE, but registration is required, and space is limited. Questions? Email email@example.com Date: Saturday, May 18 Time: 10-11:30 AM Location: Tyler Free Library – Foster, RI Age: All ages welcome. Registration: https://forms.office.com/g/bPxFz4FwGx For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow DEM on Facebook, Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM), or Instagram (@rhodeisland.dem) for timely updates. Follow DFW on Facebook and Instagram (@ri.fishandwildlife) to stay up to date on news, events and volunteer opportunities. You can also subscribe to DFW’s monthly newsletter here.