Wisconsin Children’s Outdoor Heritage Resolution

KidsJumping_heritage_FotorAt a time when it seems political divides are more severe than ever, it is important to recognize and celebrate the occasions when we do agree.  In 2015 and 2016, the Wisconsin legislature passed a bipartisan resolution recognizing the importance of children’s access to Wisconsin’s outdoor resources and activities. The Wisconsin Children’s Outdoor Heritage Resolution, which was co-sponsored by Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) and Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R-Fond du Lac), was approved by the state Assembly in October 2015 and the Senate in February 2016. Read full text below.

Relating to: Wisconsin children’s outdoor heritage.

Whereas, Wisconsin is a land rich in natural beauty and glorious landscapes, readily available to be shared with the children and families of the state; and

Whereas, Wisconsin has led the nation in a long tradition of environmental protection and conservation; and

Whereas, Wisconsin has a long standing commitment to its natural heritage, connecting its people to the land, and passing its heritage and traditions to future generations; and

Whereas, due to urbanization and technological advancements of our society, children are becoming less connected to the natural world, which threatens their health, quality of life, readiness for future job opportunities, and the future of our natural resources; and

Whereas, children who frequently spend time outdoors have significantly less stress, develop enhanced sensory perception, experience fewer attention difficulties and decreased rates of physical and emotional illness and obesity, and are more likely to become lifelong participants in Wisconsin’s rich outdoor traditions; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring, That the members of the Wisconsin legislature recognize that every Wisconsin child should continue to have the opportunity to:

discover Wisconsin’s diverse wilderness: prairies, forests, wetlands, and beaches;

breathe clean air and drink clean water;

splash, play, swim, and boat in safe, clean lakes and rivers;

visit a farm, historical site, or orchard;

share a hunting or fishing experience with a family member, friend, or mentor;

follow a trail  ride it or walk it;

play, snowshoe, ski, snowboard, or sled in the snow;

camp out under the stars;

picnic and eat meals made from local products and ingredients;

play in the dirt, plant a tree, and grow a garden; and

explore and connect with Wisconsin’s natural spaces and wild places; and, be it further

Resolved, That the members of the Wisconsin legislature recognize the benefits of participation in outdoor activities; and, be it further

Resolved, That the members of the Wisconsin legislature encourage parents and guardians to make time to involve children in the wealth of outdoor activities that Wisconsin provides.

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