Stop and think about the planet — that simple message is what Discover WILD New Hampshire Day is all about.
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services have teamed up to remind us about our impact on the environment through Discover WILD New Hampshire Day.
“It’s a family event, and quite possibly the single largest event in New Hampshire. Last year we had 7,700 people,” said Mark Beauchesne, the advertising and promotions coordinator for the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. “We have activities galore, everything from freshwater fish to healthy living and green environmental cars. It’s very focused on a green concept.”
On Saturday, April 19, exhibitors from the state’s many conservation organizations will line the grounds of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department in Concord. The New Hampshire Audubon, Trout Unlimited, Department of Agriculture, New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands, Wild Encounters, UNH Cooperative Extension, Project Tree Learning, beekeepers and Smokey the Bear are just some of the people and organizations that will have exhibits set up for families to explore.
“One of our most popular exhibits is the New Hampshire Falcon Association. They bring live birds of prey — you get to see a red hawk up close about 2 to 3 feet away. You get to look right into its eyes,” Beauchesne said.
Each booth will have hands-on activities for people to participate in.
“We have a tremendous scavenger hunt and we have retriever dog demonstrations, mostly labs, with dogs that are trained to do voice commands and hand commands, and they let the kids do the commands,” Beauchesne said.
There are over a dozen different programs within the Department of Environmental Services that will be showcased as well, including the air monitoring station, dam bureau and exotic species program.
“Number one is the education and learning how to better appreciate the environment and get a better understanding of how we fit into conservation,” Beauchesne said. “It helps to talk and meet these people in conservation to better understand their role.”
He noted that taking care of the environment can be as easy as planting a shrub and appreciating it in years to come, or even just going out and experiencing the great outdoors.
“It’s an opportunity to remind people what’s there for resources and foster a better appreciation for it,” Beauchesne said.
“The event is second to none as far as I’m concerned; it’s the best for family outdoor education,” said Jim Martin, the public information officer of New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.
Discover WILD New Hampshire Day is held just in time to celebrate Earth Day, which is Tuesday, April 22.
“Since it’s our 25th anniversary, we’re going to be doing a time capsule as part of Earth Day. We are inviting people to write down one of their conservation thoughts or wishes — it can be something simple like walking to work two weeks out of the year or biking. We’re going to bury it here and include newsletters from each conservation organization. In 25 years we can look back and see how far we’ve come and what it was like.”
Martin noted that a change has to start with the people who live here.
“It’s simple things in everyday life that can be done by multiple people to make a huge difference,” Martin said.
“Good things happen when people act together. These are positive messages we want people to convey,” Beauchesne said. “There are so many New Hampshire citizens that only see pavement or the television screen. An event like this is there to inspire and get them out to see what New Hampshire has to offer.”
As seen in the April 17, 2014 issue of the Hippo.