Kids give three cheers for Wisconsin’s great outdoors. State Senator Chris Larson led kids in the Senate Parlor in a round of cheers for outdoor activities. Larson, a Milwaukee Democrat, is cosponsor of the Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights, along with Madison Democrat, Representative Chris Taylor. “Our kids are suffering from a nature deficit disorder. They are spending far more time in front of computer screens and TV screens, than playing outdoors and interacting with nature,” says Taylor. “This bill is the ‘pinky swear’ for the next generation, of making sure that we preserve the environment,” says Larson.
“Kids need parents and our government to be committed to helping us be outside,” says Bailey Sargent, an eleven year-old who attends Madison’s Blackhawk Middle School and who enjoys hunting, fishing and camping. The bill, which has bipartisan support and is modeled on similar laws in other states, spells out a number of outdoors-related rights for Wisconsin kids.
Every Wisconsin child has the right to:
• Discover Wisconsin’s diverse wilderness – prairies, forests, wetlands, and beaches.
• Breathe clean air and drink clean water.
• Splash, play and swim in safe, clean lakes or rivers.
• Visit a working farm.
• Share a hunting or fishing experience with a great mentor or teacher.
• Follow a trail – ride it or walk it.
• Play, snowshoe, ski, snowboard or sled in the snow.
• Camp out under the stars.
• Eat meals made from local products and ingredients.
• Play in the dirt, plant a seed and grow a garden.
• Explore and connect with Wisconsin’s natural spaces and wild places.