Bill Text: IL SJR0044 | 2009-2010 | 96th General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Shows the General Assembly's support for the Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights and designates the month of June as "Leave No Child Inside Month" in the State of Illinois.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Passed) 2009-05-22 - Adopted Both Houses [SJR0044 Detail]

Download: Illinois-2009-SJR0044-Introduced.html

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2 WHEREAS, The Illinois General Assembly is aware that
3 scientific research shows that children are increasingly
4 distanced from nature, even while an increasing number of
5 researchers and scientists have determined the benefits of
6 outdoor play for children and that direct exposure to nature is
7 essential for healthy childhood physical, emotional, and
8 spiritual development; and
9 WHEREAS, Children's understanding of nature is eclipsed by
10 their knowledge of television characters; the average eight
11 year old is better able to identify cartoon characters than
12 even common plants and animals; and
13 WHEREAS, Addressing the imminent and threatening
14 environmental issues of our time requires an active citizenry;
15 providing children with outdoor nature experiences increases
16 involvement in stewardship of our environment; and
17 WHEREAS, Time spent in nature by children promotes
18 curiosity, improves the learning of science, and provides joy
19 and a sense of well-being; and
20 WHEREAS, Actively engaging adults, mentors, and youth
21 leaders and building their capacity to facilitate

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1 opportunities for children to engage in nature discovery and
2 learning in safe places, with a special emphasis on engaging
3 underserved and ethnically diverse audiences, as well as
4 non-traditional partners, is a vital step in this process; and
5 WHEREAS, The State of Illinois has a longstanding
6 commitment to its natural heritage, connecting its people to
7 the land and passing traditions on to future generations
8 through outdoor activities such as fishing, hunting, bird
9 watching, cross country skiing, and nature walks; and
10 WHEREAS, Bringing nature to children and creating safe
11 places and programs that provide increased and improved outdoor
12 nature exploration opportunities for children to promote
13 discovery and creative play is of utmost importance to our
14 society; and
15 WHEREAS, The State of Illinois is endowed with a gloriously
16 diverse landscape, ranging from prairies and woodlands to the
17 cypress swamps of southern Illinois to the bluffs of the
18 Illinois valley and spreading across the farmlands of our rural
19 communities to the backyard bungalows, play lots, and parks of
20 our cities, all of which must be shared with the children and
21 families of this State; and
22 WHEREAS, The State of Illinois is rich in educational

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1 initiatives, conservation organizations, conservation
2 districts, forest preserve districts, park districts,
3 recreation agencies, schools, and civic organizations that are
4 all actively engaged in promoting environmental education;
5 therefore, be it
8 CONCURRING HEREIN, that we show our support for the Children's
9 Outdoor Bill of Rights, which states that every child should
10 have the opportunity to discover the wilderness, which includes
11 the State's prairies, dunes, forests, savannas, and wetlands;
12 camp under the stars; follow a trail; catch and release fish,
13 frogs, and insects; climb a tree; explore nature in
14 neighborhoods and cities; celebrate their heritage; plant a
15 flower; play in the mud or a stream; and learn to swim; and be
16 it further
17 RESOLVED, That we hereby designate the month of June as
18 "Leave No Child Inside Month" in the State of Illinois in
19 furtherance of our support of this important initiative.