Kansas Chapters of Fishing’s Future
Fishing’s Future is a national non-profit organization founded in 2007 on South Padre Island, Texas by 1st grade teacher, Shane Wilson. This organization utilizes the sport of fishing to help strengthen family bonds, teach environmental stewardship, provide angling ethics, responsibility and aquatic education to schools and organizations, but most of all, to get youth and families into the Great Outdoors: “Outside for a Better Inside!”
The mission of Fishing’s Future is to reconnect youth and families with our natural world and to provide certified volunteer support to state and local agencies such as the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks
and Tourism (KDWPT) and civic organizations. To serve these goals, Fishing’s Future conducts workshops to certify volunteer instructors and establishes chapters headed by a Master Angler, to host angling outreach,
education programs…. to teach people how to teach people how to fish and to provide quality outdoor experiences such as fishing derbies, clinics and family fish camps!
Kevin Reich of Salina is director of the Kansas Fishing’s Future’s chapters and so far there have been thirteen chapters formed that range across the state from Fort Leavenworth to Dodge City! KWF’s Phil Taunton (along with many others) has also been instrumental in the spread of Fishing’s Future across Kansas, and the association has recently formed a valuable partnership with KDWPT’s FishKS Program. Bryan Sowards, who is the former
aquatic education coordinator for KDWPT: “The partnership with Fishing’s Future has improved the quality of our KDWPT FishKS Program. Fishing’s Future has expertise in training and teaching volunteers to be instructors. These volunteers are getting children and families excited about fishing on KDWPT’s behalf. The FishKS Program is stronger than ever, able to make a presence at many more events each year and able to reach many more future anglers.”
The first Angler Education event was presented at the Great Plains Nature Center in Wichita in August, 2013 and since then nearly 350 volunteer instructors have been certified. Since January, 2014 these volunteers have contributed over 3,000 volunteer hours (as of July, 2015). Thanks to Fishing’s Future more children are reconnecting with Nature by spending more time outdoors (and less time glued to their computers and cell phones).
What’s more, outdoor activities such as fishing help youngsters avoid the dreaded “Nature Deficit Disorder”, a malady linked to increased childhood depression, attention deficit disorder, and obesity. No other sport gets families and friends, young and old alike, together in a relaxing atmosphere … where the opportunity to bond, enjoy our natural world and to talk about life are maximized. Thanks to Kevin Reich and the Kansas Chapters of Fishing’s
Future the future of the sport is strong in Kansas.
The Kansas Wildlife Federation is proud to present the 2015 Conservation Organization of the Year award to the Kansas Chapters of Fishing’s Future.