Our Programs

No Child Left Inside® is comprised of many programs, including the following: The Great Park Pursuit - The Connecticut State Parks Family Adventure 
Hundreds of Connecticut families accept the challenge each year.  The families visit beautiful State Parks and Forests, participate in fun activities, and win prizes! Think you have what it takes to come together as a team, travel to new sites across the state, enjoy the great outdoors, learn new outdoor skills, meet other families and have a good time over a six-week period?  If so, please join us.  Registration opens in March.   

Winter Festival
This yearly event provides families with the opportunity to get outside in the middle of winter. Children and adults can spend time together outdoors and try ice fishing (ice dependent), go on a hike, try snowshoeing, play winter games, and view a host of demonstrations including demos from LL Bean,  REI, Resources in Search and Rescue (rescue dogs), and more.  Families may also gather around fire pits for a good old-fashioned marshmallow roast and enjoy story-time by the bonfire. 

Community Fishing Ponds
To ensure an outdoor experience is convenient for all families in Connecticut, the CT DEEP has developed a Community Fishing Ponds program. Through this program, ponds and rivers in cities are stocked with trout, city school children participate in fish stocking events, and Connecticut Aquatic Resource Education (C.A.R.E.) volunteers work with families both in the classroom and outdoors to teach them lifelong fishing skills.

Environmental Education
Formal and informal environmental education experiences for students and teachers help stimulate interest in, and knowledge about, the environment; encourage going outdoors and foster environmental stewardship. Field studies, educational programs and teacher workshops are offered at Kellogg Environmental Center in Derby, Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area in Burlington and Goodwin Conservation Education Center in Hampton. 

State Park Passes at Libraries
The Connecticut Library Consortium and the CT DEEP have partnered to provide Connecticut State Parks' Centers and Historic Buildings Day Passes to public libraries across the state. This pass waives entrance fees for the center or historic building for two adults and four children, 12 years and under at the following locations:  Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, Gillette Castle State Park in East Haddam and Fort Trumbull State Park and Visitor Center in New London. 

Water Safety
The CT DEEP encourages the safe and environmentally sound use of our waterfronts. We have been accomplishing this through education and safe management of our beaches. We want to encourage everyone to participate in a boating safety class, take a swimming lesson, and follow a few general precautions when at the beach: swim only in designated areas, parents watch your children, beware of underwater hazards, and remember alcohol & water don’t mix.

Other Programs No Child Left Inside® has helped organize:

Park Passes for Foster Families
Thanks to the generosity of the Connecticut Association of Foster and Adoptive Families (CAFAF) and local offices of the State Department of Children and Families (DCF), foster families officially registered with DCF may obtain free access to our state parks. Anyone with questions or interest in obtaining a park pass for foster families can contact CAFAF at 860-258-3400.

Content updated November 2021