DNR programs help beginners with outdoor skills

The DNR wants as many Minnesotans as possible to enjoy the outdoors, and they're offering some help with the "I Can" program.

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources wants everyone to enjoy the outdoors this summer, even if they don't have the equipment or experience.

This weekend kicks off the 2017 Minnesota State Parks and Trails "I Can!" program series.

Instructors help beginners in six different categories: Camping, paddling, rock climbing, mountain biking, fishing and archery.

"I think there are a lot of folks that really do want to get outdoors and experience camping, and hiking, and biking, and paddling for the first time," said Erika Rivers, director of Minnesota State Parks and Trails. "Some of them grew up with opportunities to do that in their youth but maybe as young adults and starting young families they just haven't had a recent experience. So this is really an opportunity to just build some confidence."

Monday morning, DNR staff met at Fort Snelling State Park. Staff demonstrated some of the things participants can learn through the programs, including how to build a campfire.

According to Rivers, 26 state parks and recreation areas across the state are involved with the programs. They provide the equipment.

"This is just a really nice experience where you kind of have somebody there that knows the ropes really well," Rivers said.

Since 2010, more than 12,800 people have participated in these programs.

Reservations and pricing can be found online.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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