Nearly 200 youth, parents or guardians participated in the Get Youth Outdoors Day at the Martin Luther King Jr. Park Pond at Pine Bluff Oct. 21.


The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance presented the event where youth and adults joined hands-on activities. These included learning how to fish and shooting archery and air guns.


Volunteers from USA, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and Arkansas AFL-CIO provided fishing instruction and conservation education. Participants also had lunch provided by Arkansas AFL-CIO, and youth received free fishing gear from Pure Fishing.


“Get Youth Outdoors Day is a great example of the efforts needed to preserve North America’s outdoor heritage through hands-on events that instill a love for the outdoors in today’s youth,” Maurice Jackson, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission family and community fishing program coordinator, said in a news release. “We are proud to say we played a part in introducing so many kids to those opportunities.”


The USA seeks to promote outdoor heritage through mentoring the next generation of sportsmen and women, according to Robert Stroede, USA conservation manager.


“This event provided the perfect opportunity to interact with youth in the community who may not have otherwise had the opportunity to experience all that the outdoors have to offer,” he said.