OUT:  O:utside connecction April 22, 2009

OUTDOOR HERITAGE DAY A TIME FOR KIDS TO LEARN THE ROPES

VOLUNTEERS and youthful participants get a feel for the fishing during Outdoor Heritage Day 2008 at Riverbend Park in Palisade. This year’s event is Saturday and may attract up to 1,000 youngsters. Sponsors include the Division of Wildlife, Town of Palisade and more than 30 sportsmen and conservation groups. It’s all free.
  BECKY BEHRENS/Special to the Sentinel



It’s hard to understand how any youngster in western Colorado could get what author Richard Louv described as Nature Deficit Disorder.

Louv, in his 2005 best-seller “Last Child in the Woods,” described how children are spending less time outdoors, their lives preoccupied with the lure of video screens.

But there are children in Grand Junction who don’t know how to bait a hook or tie a good climbing knot or the fundamentals of gun-handling safety.

The remedy? A day outdoors, specifically Saturday at Riverbend Park in Palisade at Outdoors Heritage Day. A day of free activities (yes, there is even a free lunch) ranging from fishing the well-stocked ponds to rock climbing to nature walks and a portable shooting range, to name just a few of the attractions.

Thanks to the Division of Wildlife and an enormous number of volunteers, it’s expected as many as 1,000 area youngsters won’t be the last children in the woods.

Or if they are, they’ll be well-prepared.

WHAT: Outdoor Heritage Day

WHERE: Palisade Riverbend Park

WHEN: From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

WHY: Because a lot (like, more than 30) of sportsmen, conservation and outdoors groups decided the lessons learned outdoors are too valuable to miss

HOW: Just show up, it’s all free. Check the events on the Web at http://www.outdoorheritageday.com.


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