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For Release: Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Celebrate Smokey Bear's Birthday & The Environment

at Mount Loretto Unique Area

The public is invited to join in a celebration of the 69th birthday of an environmental icon, Smokey Bear, at Mt. Loretto Unique Area in Staten Island on Saturday, August 10, 2013, from 1 PM - 3 PM.

The event will feature environmental games and activities, as well as a visit from Smokey Bear. In addition, New York State Forest Rangers will have wildland firefighting equipment on-site for public viewing, and there will be hands-on displays from the Fire Safety Education Unit from the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY), the Greenbelt Nature Center, and Staten Island Museum Visitors are also encouraged to take a self-guided walk on the Wetlands Interpretive Trail.

For more than six decades, Smokey Bear has been a national figure in educating schoolchildren and the public about careless actions by people that start wildfires. The U.S. Forest Service's wildfire prevention campaign starring Smokey Bear started on August 9, 1944, with the familiar slogan, "Only you can prevent forest fires." In 1950, a bear cub was rescued by firefighters battling a wildfire in New Mexico. Once he had been nursed back to health, this bear became the embodiment of Smokey Bear, and lived at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., where he served as the living symbol of the educational effort to prevent wildfires.

Event: Smokey Bear's Birthday Bash
Where: Mount Loretto Unique Area, 6450 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, NY
Date: Saturday, August 10, 2013
Time: 1 - 3 PM
Directions: Just east of the intersection of Page Avenue and Hylan Boulevard, across the street from the MIV/CYO building, along the road leading to the bluffs from the parking lot.

Contact for Day of Event: Thomas V. Panzone, (718) 482-4953

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