State launches 'Great Park Pursuit'

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is launching its second annual Great Park Pursuit, a six-week series of free family adventures in Massachusetts State Parks, the department said today in a press release. This year’s first event, on Saturday, May 10, will be at Borderland State Park in Sharon, Mansfield, and North Easton.

Last year, more than 400 teams registered for Great Park Pursuit activities, starting in the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton and ending at Castle Island in South Boston. During the series, they hiked to beautiful views, learned to fish, pitched a tent, roasted s’mores, discovered secrets of the past, rode in a horse-drawn wagon, and much more.

According to the press release, this year’s events also will take place on six consecutive Saturdays through June 14, also in a different state park each week. The goal is to connect children and adults with the outdoors through their state forests, beaches, and parks. The program challenges people of all ages to disconnect from cyberspace and reconnect with open space by participating in games and activities outdoors.

Each week, teams will log onto the contest Web site,, for clues and to learn where the game will take place the following Saturday. Teams that participate in five of the six weeks will be eligible to win outdoor adventure gear packages.

Massachusetts is one of several New England states that have created Great Park Pursuit programs. The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection held the first Great Park Pursuit series in 2006 to attract families, including those in urban areas, to the wide range of recreational opportunities throughout state parks.

Here in Massachusetts, small groups of children and adults register as “teams” to participate in activities and contests in participating state parks. Teams can be families, but they can be other groups of adults and children, too. Each team must include at least one person 18 years or older and at least one person under 18.

The Great Park Pursuit is free, but teams must register to be eligible to win the prizes. For more information, visit