Renewing our Heritage, Restoring Children’s Health

Renewing our Heritage, Restoring Children’s Health
This week we unveiled the Wisconsin Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights, which seeks to reconnect children with nature to both improve their overall health and ensure we have a new generation of stewards to protect Wisconsin's valued natural environment. This resolution lays the foundation of our commitment to provide our children the opportunity to discover Wisconsin's diverse wilderness by sharing in our hunting and fishing traditions, hiking on trails, and swimming in our lakes and rivers. With this Bill of Rights, we also codify a generational promise to our children that we will bestow them with breathable air and clean drinking water.

This resolution is vital to the health of our children as there has been a recent shift away from outdoor activities to more solitary and stationary activities, such as watching TV and playing video games. According to a recent survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Fund, children ages 8-18 spend more than 7.5 hours each day, or 53 hours a week, on smart phones, computers and watching TV. These figures are in stark contrast with the amount of time children spend outdoors considering the average 6-12 year old spends just 30 minutes per week in unstructured outdoor activities such as gardening, camping or hiking.

As a result, our children are now suffering from a "Nature Deficit Disorder," which has begun to take a toll on the health of our children who are facing skyrocketing obesity, diabetes and attention deficit disorder rates. Statistics from the Center for…
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