By Jessica Vance
Wolf Ridge Supports Outdoor School for All
Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center announced its participation and support of the development of the Minnesota Outdoor School For All bill. Wolf Ridge Executive Director, Peter Smerud, is a leader within the Outdoor School for All Minnesota coalition which is introducing the bill today in the Minnesota legislature. The bill, which was co-authored by Rep. Kristi Pursell, who was a Wolf Ridge Graduate Naturalist from 2005 to 2007, would fully fund a three-day, two-night immersive nature experience for every fourth through eighth grade student in Minnesota. The goal is for the bill to be considered as part of the May 2024 Supplemental Budget Session.
Improving Access to Outdoor School
Only 30% of Minnesota students are able to access outdoor school, and children of color and low-income families are less likely to have access to the outdoors and its benefits. This bill will provide crucial funding to help close the access disparity gap, while also preserving Minnesota’s outdoor legacy and providing enhanced educational and social outcomes.
“Every Minnesotan, no matter our age, has a right to learn, hunt, fish, explore and enjoy the nature that surrounds us and makes us the state we are. Our young people deserve to learn to carry on that rich tradition – and by making Outdoor School available to all, we have a chance to pass on that legacy.”
– Rep. Kristi Pursell