DEM offering free cooking classes, guided walks and virtual programs this winter

Whether you’re ready to bundle up and hang out or curl up on the sofa and connect virtually, Rhode Island’s Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Fish and Wildlife Division (DFW) has another season of great programs planned to connect Rhode Islanders to our state’s magnificent natural resources.

From wilderness first aid and hunter education classes to wild game cooking classes, guided walks and virtual programs, there is something for everyone.

DFW’s Aquatic Resource Education Program, Hunter Education Program and Wildlife Awareness staff have planned a winter program with plenty of opportunities to learn about the fish and wildlife resources of the region. Rhode Island or try a new outdoor skill. Most programs offered this winter are free and suitable for families.

The programs are as follows:

Aquatic resource education programs

Fall fly tying (Families with children 8 years and older)

The fall fly tying series is coming to an end, so join us for the final lesson! Fly tying instructors from United Fly Tyers of Rhode Island, Rhody Fly Rodders and Trout Unlimited will be on hand to guide beginner and intermediate fly tyers in the art of fly tying. Participants can choose to tie either saltwater or freshwater flies to each class. People without an appointment are welcome; however, pre-registration is preferable.

Date: Monday December 6

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Site: North Kingstown Community Center (Cold Spring Community Center)

Registration: For more information, please contact Kimberly Sullivan at [email protected]

Cost: $ 5 / person

Hunter education programs

Hunter Education (10 years and over, a parent or legal guardian must be present for the entire course)

This in-person class is required to become certified to hunt with a firearm in the state of Rhode Island. A test of 100 questions will be administered at the end of the second day.

Dates: Saturday-Sunday December 4-5 (must attend both sessions)

Time: 9 am-5pm

Location: Office of Outdoor Education of the Fish and Wildlife Division of RIDEM, 1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter

Registration: Pre-registration is required to be admitted. Register here.

No cost

Virtual wilderness first aid course (all ages welcome)

Join us for a family look at medical and traumatic first aid emergencies with some wilderness considerations. This is a non-certifying course taught by an EMT with 20 years experience who is also an outdoor education instructor. This course will use real-world outdoor examples such as hunting, hiking, and fishing. Test your skills with multiple choice videos where emergencies are staged for visual emphasis. Some topics covered include site safety, anaphylaxis, hypothermia and hyperthermia, multi-traumatic considerations, etc.

Date: Friday, December 10

Time: 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Location: Virtual

Registration: Pre-registration required. A Zoom conference link will be sent upon completion of registration. Register here.

No cost

Bowhunter Education (from 10 years old, a parent or legal guardian must be present for the whole course)

This in-person course is required to become certified to hunt archery in the state of Rhode Island. If students require the Archery Proficiency Test, it will be booked separately and is not part of this course. A 50-question test will be administered at the end of the second day.

Dates: Tuesday-Wednesday, January 11-12 (must attend both sessions)

Time: 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Location: RIDEM Fish and Wildlife Division Outdoor Education Office, 1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter

Registration: Pre-registration is required to be admitted. Register here.

No cost

Wild game cooking class

Wild game cooking class with Chef Andy Lussier of Culinary Connections. Please join the RI DEM Hunter Education Division of Fish and Wildlife for an entertaining and informative lesson given by our professional chef-instructor, as well as tastings of each dish prepared in class.

Register by check or money order to reserve your place.

Date: Thursday January 23

Time: 12 pm-3pm

Location: RIDEM Fish and Wildlife Division Outdoor Education Office, 1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter

Registration: Due to the limited number of places, registration is mandatory. We will not accept participants on foot. Register here.

Cost: $ 50

Please make the check to:

Culinary connections

Mail to:

RI DEM Division of the Bureau of Fisheries and Wildlife Education

1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place Exeter, RI 02822

Before January 1, 2022

Familiarization course with firearms (from 10 years old, a parent or legal guardian must be present for the whole course)

Learn about the six gun actions, how they work, ammo basics, safe gun handling and more! Perfect for beginners and those looking to gain more knowledge on the subject of firearms. Students are prohibited from bringing firearms and / or ammunition to class.

Date: Thursday February 3

Time: 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Location: RIDEM Fish and Wildlife Division Outdoor Education Office, 1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter

Registration: Pre-registration required. register here.

No cost

Hunter Education (10 years and over, a parent or legal guardian must be present for the entire course)

This in-person class is required to become certified to hunt with a firearm in the state of Rhode Island. A test of 100 questions will be administered at the end of the second day. Pre-registration is required to be admitted.

Dates: Wednesday to Friday February 23-25 ​​(must attend all sessions)

Time: 5 pm-9pm

Location: RIDEM Fish and Wildlife Division Outdoor Education Office, 1B Camp E-Hun-Tee Place, Exeter

Registration: Pre-registration required. Register here.

No cost

Wildlife awareness programs

Beaver, otters and muskrats, oh my god! (All ages)

Otters, beavers and muskrats, oh my god! Join the DEM Division of Fish and Wildlife Outreach Program to learn all about these three species of semi-aquatic mammals that inhabit Rhode Island! What do they eat, where to find them, how do they survive the long winter months? These questions and many more will be answered during this Virtual Zoom program in partnership with the Lincoln Public Library!

Date: Wednesday January 12

Time: 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Location: Virtual

Registration: All ages are welcome to participate in this FREE program, but registration is required to receive a Zoom link. Register here.

No cost

Winter waterfowl (ages: adults)

During the winter, few people venture outside into the freezing air, and even fewer are brave enough to visit the shore. However, there is a surprising treat if you observe the rising and falling waves up close. Winter waterfowl are the hidden gems that add vibrant colors to the dull gray that blankets winter. Uncover the secret and learn about the many beautiful species of ducks and geese that feed along the rocky shore with the DEM Division of Fishing and Wildlife. Registration is compulsory and places are limited.

Date: Thursday, January 27

Time: 6 p.m.-7 p.m.

Location: This program will take place in person at Cross’ Mills Public Library, Charlestown RI but can go virtual depending on COVID restrictions.

Registration: Register here.

No cost

Wildlife Solutions: Night Nuisances (Ages: Adults)

Coyotes, foxes and fishermen: nocturnal mammals are very poorly understood; most of their frightening actions are simply part of their life story and their survival strategies. Still, these critters can certainly become a nuisance, especially when they start hiding under bridges and dining in chicken coops. Learning why these creatures behave the way they do is the key to finding a solution. This session will help you identify what attracts these animals to your yard and how to make your property less hospitable. Check out the discoveries made by the Narragansett Bay Coyote Study and see what we have already learned from Project Fisher in collaboration with URI. It will be a virtual program in partnership with the Langworthy Public Library.

Date: Tuesday February 8

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Location: Virtual

Registration: Register here.

No cost

Virtual walk in winter wonderland (all ages, suitable for children)

Explore some of the 60,000 acres of land managed by DEM Fish and Wildlife on this virtual habitat hike! Join Mary and Gabby as they search for creatures, identify tracks, and explain how animals have adapted to live in so many different habitats! This free family program will be organized in partnership with the Woonsocket library and registration is required.

Date: Thursday March 3

Time: 4 p.m.-5 p.m.

Location: Virtual

Registration: Register here.

No cost

For more information on DEM divisions and programs, visit www.dem.ri.gov or follow us on Facebook and Fish and wildlife, Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) or Instagram (@ rhodeisland.dem and @ RI.FishandWildlife) for timely updates.


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