City Kids Go Wild in Hillsborough River State Park

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The City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department is taking 20 inner city kids into the wild of Hillsborough River State Park for a three day camping trip beginning Monday, April 25.

The youngsters will strap on backpacks, hike, canoe and fish, pitch tents, and prepare their own meals. They will also go on service trips to clean up debris along the trails and river; learn about Florida birds of prey, and pilfer for pellets to determine what the birds have eaten. On April 26 at noon, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will be present a segment from their Xtreme Cooking School, a program that teaches youths how many calories are needed for their age and gender, the vitamin and mineral content of many Florida fruit and vegetables, and how to read a food nutrition label.

The program, Get R.E.A.L (Recreational & Environmental Adventures in Learning), began in 2006 as a way to get disadvantage youth out of their concrete-and-asphalt environs and into the natural world. Get R.E.A.L is a partnership between the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department and the Florida State Parks. It is made possible with support from the Friends of Tampa Recreation, Inc., a not for profit, citizen organization that raises funds to support the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department mission: to provide and preserve quality parks and recreation opportunities for all.