PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Rhode Island Outdoor Recreation Council, created by Governor Gina M. Raimondo and composed of government, community and industry leaders, today released its Interim Report on the state of outdoor recreation in Rhode Island. Raimondo established the Council in January 2016 to develop a strategy to promote and expand the state's outdoor recreation sector. The interim report, which outlines strengths and challenges the state faces, will inform the next five months of the Council's work to provide final recommendations to the Governor this fall.
"As Rhode Islanders, we are lucky we can enjoy so many beaches, parks and waterways right here at home," Raimondo said. "But, as I said when I created the Council, the State can do more to encourage the use of these resources and promote this critical sector of Rhode Island's economy. This report shows that outdoor recreation has the potential to help fuel our state's comeback. I look forward to seeing the Council's final recommendations on how best to increase opportunities for outdoor recreation across Rhode Island."
The report notes that Rhode Island offers a wide variety of opportunities for outdoor recreation, from hiking trails to bike paths and ocean beaches. The state has been endowed with exceptional natural resources, and has also benefited from a large network of organizations and volunteers dedicated to preservation, maintenance, and recreation programming.
"This report shows that while Rhode Islanders have lots of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, we can do more to increase access to and use of our natural resources," Council Chair First Gentleman Andy Moffit said. "We've done a great job with preservation and facility development - now we need to focus on getting people from all walks of life outside and active."
The Outdoor Recreation Council has two vice-chairs -- Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit, and Department of Health Director Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH.
"Our beautiful parks, beaches, and green spaces are treasures so many Rhode Islanders and tourists hold dear," Coit said. "Each year, we welcome millions of people to these facilities to gather with their families, enjoy a restorative jog or walk along the shore, hike through lush forests, take in a day of fishing, or picnic by a creek. The value of these assets to our state and our lives is significant. And our work on the Council is centered around preserving and building upon these special places so people can enjoy their beauty and tranquility for years to come. I am pleased to join the First Gentleman, Dr. Alexander-Scott, and Council members in releasing this Interim Report and continuing our work to promote and expand outdoor recreation in Rhode Island."
"Expanding access to our parks and other outdoor recreational spaces is an essential component of our work to address obesity, physical inactivity, mental health, and health disparities," Alexander-Scott said. "This Interim Report for the Governor's Outdoor Recreation Council represents some important first steps toward increasing use of our natural resources by people from every zip code throughout Rhode Island, and toward a state full of people committed to physical activity and healthy living."
Please click the link below to view the report.