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New York State Parks Partners with National Outdoor Retailer REI to Offer Outdoor Recreational Classes and Programs in State Parks

LongIsland.com

REI Outdoor School Programs to Launch this Fall in Select Hudson Valley, Long Island Region State Parks

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Albany, NY - August 27th, 2013 - The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and outdoor retailer, REI, are pleased to announce that through a new partnership, REI will conduct its Outdoor School programs at various state parks in New York's Hudson Valley and Long Island regions.

"There is no better place than New York's state parks for outdoor recreation and exploration—our trails, waterways and campgrounds are nature's playground for countless recreational activities and our magnificent natural landscapes offer the inspiration to explore our natural surroundings and learn new outdoor skills," said New York State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. "We are thrilled to partner with REI to offer our patrons an expanded schedule of outdoor recreation programs in our parks."

The partnership permits REI to conduct its outdoor school programs at New York State parks starting in September. The classes will initially be held in five New York State parks in the Hudson Valley and Long Island regions, with the anticipation of additional parks and programs in the future. Programs include hiking, orienteering, and nature photography. Outings will be led by REI Outdoor School Instructors and all gear is provided as part of the registration fee. Programs will be jointly promoted and offered seasonally.

"Whether teaching people to ride a bike or navigate a trail, REI is passionate about inspiring others to enjoy the outdoors through our educational classes and programs," said Melissa Abramson, REI's Outdoor Programs and Outreach Manager. "Partnering with New York State Parks allows us to expand our programming to some of the area's most iconic outdoor places."

REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. Founded in 1938 by a group of Pacific Northwest mountaineers seeking quality equipment, REI is committed to promoting environmental stewardship and increasing access to outdoor recreation through volunteerism, gear donations and financial contributions.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 179 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 60 million people annually. A recent study commissioned by Parks & Trails New York found that New York State Parks generates $1.9 billion in economic activity annually and supports 20,000 jobs. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.

Class Schedule:

Sunday, September 8, 2013

HIKING TRI-STATES BEST PLACES
Join an REI Outdoor School Instructor for Tri State's best hikes. We'll introduce you to local natural gems, teach you a few tips for making hiking more comfortable and help you hike at your own pace.

Location: Breakneck Ridge, Hudson Highlands State Park—Hudson Valley | 10 a.m.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

INTRO TO MAP & COMPASS NAVIGATION
In this class you'll learn to read map contour lines and translate them to the actual terrain. With your compass we'll teach you about magnetic north, true north and declination.

Location: Rockefeller State Park Preserve—Hudson Valley | 10 a.m.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

INTRO TO MAP & COMPASS NAVIGATION
In this class you'll learn to read map contour lines and translate them to the actual terrain. With your compass we'll teach you about magnetic north, true north and declination.

Location: Belmont Lake State Park—Long Island | 10 a.m.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

HIKING TRI-STATES BEST PLACES
Join an REI Outdoor School Instructor for Tri State's best hikes. We'll introduce you to local natural gems, teach you a few tips for making hiking more comfortable and help you hike at your own pace.

Location: Breakneck Ridge, Hudson Highlands State Park—Hudson Valley | 10 a.m.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

INTRO TO OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY
Our REI Outdoor School instructors take you into the field to teach you how to shoot vibrant and stimulating photos. We'll analyze photographs & learn techniques that create more dynamic images.

Location: Rockefeller State Park Preserve—Hudson Valley | 10 a.m.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

INTRO TO OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY
Our REI Outdoor School instructors take you into the field to teach you how to shoot vibrant and stimulating photos. We'll analyze photographs & learn techniques that create more dynamic images.

Location: Belmont Lake State Park—Long Island | 10 a.m.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

HIKING TRI-STATES BEST PLACES
Join an REI Outdoor School Instructor for Tri State's best hikes. We'll introduce you to local natural gems, teach you a few tips for making hiking more comfortable and help you hike at your own pace.

Location: Bear Mountain State Park—Hudson Valley | 10 a.m.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

OVERNIGHT BACKPACKING
Take your first backpack trip with the experts! Learn what to pack, how to carry it, backcountry cooking, water safety, navigation, and more in a two day course. Designed with beginners in mind.

Location: Harriman State Park—Hudson Valley | 10 a.m.

Please visit REI Outdoor School online for more information & registration: www.rei.com/outdoorschool