National Get Outdoors Day is June 12.  After a long spring, the temperature in southern Nevada just hit the hundred degree mark.  So why do you want to go outdoors?  Well, you can take one of two approaches to the heat.  The first one is to lock yourself in your house with the air conditioning for the summer and don’t come out ‘til fall.  Or, you can grin and say, “It’s a dry heat!” – whereupon you fill up your hydration pack, and get outside in the early morning or early evening when it’s tolerable.  When the Get Outdoors USA coalition first decided to make June Great Outdoors Month, they were mostly thinking of the rest of the country, not the desert southwest.  But, no special exceptions for us, so we have to make do.  

This is the third year of National Get Outdoors Day, Week (June 6 through June 12), and Month.  The public agencies, as well as nonprofit organizations and the recreation industry are teaming together to provide opportunities for people to enjoy the great outdoors at sites across the U.S.  We all know that outdoor recreation is a healthy alternative to sitting inside the house, and the special events set up for June will offer a chance to see and try new activities that many folks have only thought about, like fishing, camping, biking, boating and more.  Many of the events are aimed at families, with educational opportunities to get kids connected to nature.  Some will even include education on exercise and nutrition.  

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In Nevada, June 12 is also Free Fishing Day.  That means you don’t need a fishing license to fish at any fishable waters throughout the state.  In the Las Vegas area, there will be a special Free Fishing Day event, sponsored by the Nevada Department of Wildlife and federal agency partners.  The event will take place at Boulder City pond, which is located in Veterans Memorial Park at 1650 Buchanan Dr. in Boulder City.  Registration, which is required, starts at 7:30 am and the event is from 8:00 to 11:00 a.m.  There will be seminars on how to rig a pole, how to cast, and different lures to use, as well as displays on native plants and wildlife.  Kids’ activities will keep the little ones busy.  The Nevada Department of Wildlife has a lot of fishing poles that you can borrow, too, so you don’t even need to bring any equipment.  The first 300 kids get a free tackle box, and there will be other giveaways as well. 

National Fishing and Boating Week is June 5 through June 13, and June 12 is also National Marina Day.  There are a few events going on at Lake Mead.  At Calville Bay Resort and Marina, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, there will be a bass fishing tournament and a kids’ casting contest (from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm).  An introduction to houseboating will be given at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm, complete with houseboat rides, but reservations are necessary.  Call 702-565-4813 by June 11.    There will also be a yacht club poker run, and educational sessions on boating safety and power squadrons.  Finally, the National Park Service will be swearing kids in as Junior Rangers.  Lots of giveaways along with food make these festivities a “don’t miss.” 

 If you’re going to be in the Lincoln County area, Echo Canyon State Park will be holding a Free Fishing Day Derby from 8 a.m. to noon. This event will include prizes, raffles, food and more. Echo Canyon is located just east of Pioche.

Is it important to get outside?  Our leaders think so.  The governors of Nevada and many other states have made proclamations declaring June as Great Outdoors Month.  And with Michelle Obama herself coming to our southern Nevada federal lands this month to promote the Let’s Move! Outside program, we should pay attention.  Let’s Move! Outside is an effort to promote outdoor physical activity for children and families.  Too much dependence on electronic devices may lead to a sedentary lifestyle, and besides that, you’re missing so much if you don’t get out!

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