COVENTRY, RI – With comfortable temperatures and beautiful foliage, autumn is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy nature’s beauty. The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) runs several nature-based education programs to help residents do just that.
From family birding lessons and hunter education to a beautiful outdoor guided walk, there’s something for everyone, and most programs are free. Check out a list of some great fall activities that DEM offers below:
Are you interested in hunting or target shooting, but don’t know where to start? Designed for beginners, this course will teach you the six actions of firearms, ammunition, storage, transport, safety and more. The program is for ages 10 and up. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
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 advice? DEM is here to help.
Students will be divided into groups and assigned an instructor to help with activities. Each group will receive coordinates to find their own hunting camp and hike to the destination, while encountering surprising wilderness first aid scenarios. Students will learn how to safely carry practice firearms through woods and around obstacles while maintaining confident muzzle control.
At camp, the group will work together to construct a natural awning and install a provided tree stand. Everyone will watch a mock hunt while discussing various aspects of what they should observe.
Finally, students will follow a trail of blood to a slaughtered 3D 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 out, involving on and off trail riding and sitting for long periods of time. Indoor bathrooms are available on site, as well as a refrigerator and microwave. Bring insect repellent, lunch, snacks and soft drinks. The class is rain or shine unless extreme weather conditions are forecast, in which participants will be notified.
The program is for ages 10 and up. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
The program will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., October 15, at RIDEM’s Fish and Wildlife Division Outdoor Education Office in Exeter.
Rhode Island Coverts Workshop ($20 and lunch included)
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 general information about wildlife habitat, ecological concepts and forest management practices that you can apply on a smaller scale.
You’ll meet professionals from various organizations to learn how to help wildlife on your property, and take a field trip to see past participants’ habitat projects. Staff from DEM’s Fish and Wildlife Division and DEM’s Agriculture and Forestry Environment Division will join the list of speakers for this workshop, in partnership with the RI Resource Conservation & Development Area Council, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the University of Rhode Island. .
This program will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., October 15 at the Canonicus Camp and Conference Center at 54 Exeter Road in Exeter. Call Paul Dolan at 401-500-0399 or email [email protected] to register.
Nature on the North Branch (free)
The Fish and Wildlife Division is teaming up with the Pawtuxet River Authority and Watershed Council for a morning of autumn nature fun. RIDEM Wildlife Outreach staff will lead a family bird walk and share information about RI’s Breeding Bird Atlas 2.0. There will also be nature crafts and other fun activities for the whole family. Questions? Contact [email protected]
This program takes place from 10 a.m. to noon, October 22 at 2 Lincoln Ave. in Coventry.