Cities Connecting Children to Nature (CCCN), a joint initiative of the National League of Cities and the Children & Nature Network, invites organizations to build networks of three to five cities to work together to increase equitable access to high quality outdoor experiences and nature-based learning for children.

The CCCN team will work closely with three selected regional organizations and collaboratives over the course of two years to build their capacity to support cities in advancing equitable nature connection strategies. Of special interest are communities that lack nature access due to systemic racism and injustice.

CCCN encourages state or regional organizations, regional planning associations, and/or state-based associations to apply, particularly those led by and/or that represent Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and other communities of color. We seek collaboratives that work with and represent communities that are underrepresented in the outdoors. Collaboratives may be formal or informal, a group of organizations, or a single organization operating at the state or regional level.

The CCCN State & Regional Cohort is a 26-month engagement designed to support regional and state-wide strategies that engage municipal leaders in a region to increase equitable access to nature.
The CCCN State and Regional Nature Connections project is generously support by The JPB Foundation.

Participating organizations receive:

  • A CCCN Leadership Lab training to develop skills for providing technical assistance and proceeding with equitable participation that emphasizes the involvement of those most affected by inequitable connections to nature
  • Monthly calls with CCCN staff to support action plans and implementation
  • Support in fundraising to launch regional cohorts that engage municipal leaders
  • Access to CCCN resources, materials and peer learning groups to exchange strategies and approaches
  • A site visit from CCCN staff, peers and/or national experts to host a regional stakeholders meeting for launching the project or for project planning
  • $20,000 in funding for active participation in the cohort


STEP 1: Participate in the CCCN State & Regional Nature Connections Workshop on Tuesday, June 8 to better understand emerging trends for connecting children to nature at the regional and state level. NOTE: Workshop attendance is a prerequisite to apply.

STEP 2: Apply to be part of the CCCN State & Regional Cohort by submitting a Letter of Interest and completing the application form by Thursday, July 1.


Please submit a Letter of Intent (in two pages or less) that addresses demonstrated capacity in the following:

  • The staff or volunteer capacity to actively participate in the cohort and its activities
  • Engaging and prioritizing representation from and an increase in nature access for communities of color and low-income residents
  • An interest in leveraging CCCN as a path for advancing equitable access to nature
  • A strong network of partners and the ability to mobilize local organizations and elected officials in support of nature-based programs, services and policies
  • Demonstrated regional or state momentum and/or capacity to advance policies, funding opportunities or strategies to support equitable access to nature for children throughout the region.


Deadline to apply is Thursday, July 1, 2021.

Learn more

Do you have questions regarding the application or how your city can join Cities Connecting Children to Nature? Reach out to our team.