Cities Connecting Children to Nature
Through the Cities Connecting Children to Nature (CCCN) initiative, local officials across the country strive to create abundant access to nature for the benefit of the children and family in their cities.
CCCN works with city leaders to confront pressing child development issues related to increasingly indoor lifestyles. These include higher rates of emotional and physical health challenges.
Most importantly, the CCCN initiative focuses on confronting the marked disparities in cities’ access to nature that run along economic and racial lines. For greatest impact, it is crucial that city leaders hold equitable access to nature for all their residents as the first and foremost tenet of their efforts.
The CCCN partnership between the National League of Cities and the Children & Nature Network is generously supported by the JPB Foundation.
Seven cities participated in the CCCN pilot cohort. These cities have advanced strategies connecting children to nature, leveraging more than $2.5M in new funds through the planning process.
In 2018, CCCN welcomed eleven new cities to the initiative. This map depicts the distribution of the current 18 CCCN cities.
CCCN strives to ensure that communities of color and low-income communities have regular and easy access to safe, nature-filled parks and green spaces. As a starting point, most children in low-income families and communities of color grow up with less access to nature than their peers and additionally face persistent inequities in health, income, and quality of life. Limited access to nature means that these children find themselves less able to reap the multiple benefits of regular access to nature, including improved mental and physical health. In order for all children to benefit from nature in their everyday lives, cities need to address systems that perpetuate barriers for low-income children and communities of color.
We know that time spent in nature makes children healthier and happier. When cities reimagine themselves as places of nature connection, neighborhoods become more vibrant, natural places become community assets, and children and families thrive.
- CCCN Resource Hub
- This resource hub contains advocacy, planning, implementation, and evaluation tools for city leaders and their community partners to create more equitable access to nature for children and families.
- C&NN Research Library
- Reports and studies revealing evidence and documentation of the health benefits of connecting children and nature.
- City Strategies
- Two-pagers and webinars describing several children and nature strategies and Implementation Plan Summaries of CCCN Pilot Sites.
- City Examples and Peer Learning Resources
- A variety of city examples and peer learning resources are available upon request.
Follow and share news with our #citykids2nature Twitter hashtag.
CCCN Monthly Newsletter
City, Schools $1.2M Initiative Connects Kids With Natural Play Areas, Michigan Live, May 2018
CitiesSpeak Blog Posts
- How Detroit Created a Green Oasis in the Middle of Motor City
- Eleven Cities Join Cities Connecting Children to Nature Initiative
- New Technical Assistance Program Helps Cities Improve Kids' Access to Nature
- Introducing the Cities Connecting Children to Nature Municipal Action Guide
- Are Your Residents Within a 10-Minute Walk to a Park?
- Mayor Coleman on How Saint Paul Shows How Can Bring Nature to Children
- San Francisco Is Helping Kids Develop a Love of Nature
- Why the City of Austin Created a Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights
- How the City of Grand Rapids is Amplifying Local Voices to Connect Children with Nature
- Seven Cities Activate Strategies to Connect Kids to Nature
- How We Worked with a Mayor and a Parks Department to Connect SF Youth with Nature
+Join the Peer Learning Google Group (Coming Soon)