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Child from Illinois Helped Create Law to Protect Pollinators

After learning that bees in her neighborhood were being wiped out by pesticides, 11-year-old Scarlett Harper launched a campaign to save them.

The intrepid Illinois resident started a campaign to restrict the use of pesticides that can harm bees. After cold-calling up lawmakers to ask them to join the fight, Harper was able to secure 22 co-sponsors - and so the “Bee Bill,” officially known as Illinois HB 3118, came into being.

The bill - which passed the state’s Energy and Environment Committee by a unanimous 29-0 vote - aims to restrict mosquito control pesticides that can be lethal to bees, reports CBS News. “Bees are completely vital to humans,” said Harper. “They pollinate a third of our food supply, and without them, we really can’t survive.”

According to her parents, Harper has developed a passion for the environment at an early age, when she developed her love of gardening. Although Harper is much younger than most people fighting to pass new legislation, she said she sees her age as an advantage: "As a kid trying to make an impact stopping the climate crisis, I have been lucky to be given a little extra leeway to be blunt and impatient with how slow progress is," she said. "I realized that early on and started using my voice to state the elephant in the room."

“Instead of thinking of my age as a disadvantage, I try to use it as a tool, because I’m a little bit younger. I cannot get bogged down in what might go wrong.”


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