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This Weekend: Backyard Camping from Bend to Portland and Beyond

June 26, 2008

Portland, OR – An Oregon weekend "unplugged" is the goal for families taking part this Saturday in the Great American Backyard Campout.

David Mizejewski is a spokesperson for the National Wildlife Federation, which is sponsoring the national event. He says people will be camping out in their yards and at local campgrounds to enjoy some quality time away from TV, computer and video-game screens.

"Americans are not really getting outside as much as they used to, kids in particular. So, we're hoping to make it really easy, really fun, to get folks outside experiencing nature."

Mizejewski, who manages the NWF's Backyard Wildlife Habitat Program, believes this summer in particular is perfect for backyard camping.

"A lot of people are maybe intimidated by going far away to a campsite. Maybe they don't have the time. With gas prices being what they are this year, a lot of people really just can't afford to go far away on a vacation."

Larger, organized campouts are taking place across the state. There's a list of sites and camping tips online at
www.nwf.org/backyardcampout.

More than 20,000 people across the country are expected to take part.

Chris Thomas/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - OR