In an exciting development for the Children and Nature Movement, at least eight states, and some cities and parks, have passed Children’s Outdoor Bills of Rights or Environmental Literacy Plans. There are Children’s Outdoor Bills of Rights working their way through legislatures in at least three additional states. Many of these initiatives resulted from enthusiastic and effective local Grassroots efforts. If you know of a state or region that has passed or is in the process of passing a Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights, please let us know so we can update our list.
This is an excerpt from California’s Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights. California was the first state to pass such a bill. Many states’ Bills of Rights are similar.
The California Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights provides that every child should have the right to:
Discover California’s past, Splash in the water, Play in a safe place,
Camp under the stars, Explore nature, Learn to swim, Play on a team,
Follow a trail, Catch a fish, Celebrate their heritage.
The following states and regions have had Children’s Outdoor Bills of Rights or Environmental Literacy Plans signed into law. (Click on the region name for more information.)
The following states have Children’s Outdoor Bills of Rights currently working their way through their legislatures.
In addition, Missouri has an executive order for the initiative to get Missouri communities and families outdoors.
There is great momentum regarding Children’s Outdoor Bills of Rights and the role they can play in encouraging families to get out in nature. Here’s to more citizens, lawmakers and, ultimately, individuals, realizing the importance of such simple acts as climbing a tree and camping under the stars, and then going out and acting on them.
Maybe your state or region will be next!