America's Great Outdoors Activities
Throughout 2013, the Mid-Pacific Region organized events and continued the support of existing programs that better connect the public to the outdoors.
With the launch of the America’s Great Outdoors initiative in 2010, federal agencies have continued to develop programs to protect America’s natural and cultural resources, and connect people to the outdoors through jobs, education and recreation. Under AGO, the federal government has formed new partnerships with state and local governments, communities and grassroots organizations, to implement the initiative.
AGO focuses on engaging all Americans in healthy and exciting active outdoor recreation. The Obama Administration has further emphasized recreation through initiatives like the First Lady’s Let’s Move Outside! Initiative. Let’s Move Outside, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, was created to get kids and families to take advantage of America’s great outdoors, which abound in every city, town and community.
The First Lady’s initiative is dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation so that children born today will grow up healthier and able to pursue their dreams. At the launch of the initiative, President Barack Obama signed a presidential memorandum creating the first-ever Task Force on Childhood Obesity, which conducted a review of all programs and policies relating to child nutrition and physical activity, and developed a national action plan to maximize federal resources and set concrete benchmarks toward the First Lady’s national goal.
The Region also supports the AGO and Let’s Move Outside initiatives through a wide range of interpretive, educational and recreational activities at facilities throughout the Reclamation’s field offices at Berryessa, Folsom, New Melones and Shasta lakes.
Among the most popular and best known of the events at many of the reservoirs is the Catch a Special Thrill (C.A.S.T.) for Kids Fishing events. Children with disabilities or disadvantages have an opportunity to go fishing on a boat, many for the first time. The events are supported by the Region in a broad partnership with other agencies and community groups.
The 14th annual C.A.S.T. For Kids event was held at Shasta Lake in northern California. The event teamed up community partners, volunteers and anglers with disabled and disadvantaged kids for a morning of fishing. Local bass clubs, state and federal agencies, local businesses and volunteers cooperate to create memories with these special-needs children.
Staff from the Central California Area Office’s New Melones Lake held their annual C.A.S.T. for Kids fishing event at the Tuttletown Recreation Area. C.A.S.T. for Kids, teaming up anglers and special-needs children ages 5 to 16 for a day of fishing. Each of the 25 children received a free fishing rod and reel, bait and tackle equipment and instruction.
The Region’s Lake Berryessa Field Office, in partnership with the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation and Pleasure Cove Marina, hosted 30 children at the fifth annual C.A.S.T. for Kids fishing event at Lake Berryessa. Reclamation’s volunteers were assisted by 25 boat captains who donated their boats and expertise to take the kids out fishing and an additional 40 volunteers from a variety of agencies and groups who helped to set up, assist with registration and awards, prepare lunch, staff booths and provide other assistance.
Reclamation park rangers from New Melones Lake and Lake Berryessa participated in the 2nd annual Outdoor Summit for Youth at the U.S. Forest Service Wildland Fire Training Center at McClellan Park in Sacramento, Calif. The event was hosted by the Bureau of Land Management to highlight and solicit input from young people about their multi-cultural experiences in America’s Great Outdoors.
Reclamation park rangers led local Boy Scouts in a restoration event to celebrate National Public Lands Day at Lake Berryessa. Park rangers, scouts and volunteers spent the morning planting acorns, repairing restoration shelters, and removing weeds in the Oak Shores Day Use Area. The workers planted Blue Oak acorns and removed the invasive Yellow Star thistle from the Coyote Beach area of Oak Shores.
Reclamation park rangers offered guided kayaking tours to explore Carson Creek at New Melones Lake. Along the way, paddlers saw first-hand many cultural resources that have been exposed due to the lake’s receding waters, as well as relics from the gold-mining days, and learned about ways to keep the lake clean of invasive Zebra and Quagga mussels.
February 28, 2014