Community ActionJoin others in a shared commitment to impact change
Community programs that help connect residents to the natural world only work when they are strongly supported by local constituents. Your involvement in community programs supporting immersion in the outdoors can make a difference in people’s lives and the improvement of your overall community.
- Leave No Child Inside — Greater Cincinnati
- Outdoor Afro
- Texas Children in Nature
- Children in Nature Collaborative
In June of 2006, a group of organizations and community leaders collaborated to form Leave No Child Inside – Greater Cincinnati in order to educate the community that a lifestyle including time spent in nature is essential to the physical, mental and emotional well-being of all children. Its first pilot project – Pathways to Health – launched in partnership with the Evanston Community Council and Safe Routes to School, Leave No Child Inside has expanded its broad-based community outreach efforts. This innovative project is designed to spark neighborhood-wide physical activity by focusing attention on children’s health and well-being. Leave No Child Inside has brought national attention to the critical role nature plays in healthy childhood development.
Outdoor Afro is a social network and community that reconnects African-Americans with the natural world and one another through outdoor recreational activities such as camping, hiking, biking, birding, fishing and gardening. Led by its founder, California native Rue Mapp, Outdoor Afro is an organization which has strived to shift the representation of minorities in outdoor activities and change the perception of who can and does have a relationship with nature and an important role in connecting with the outdoors.
The Texas Partnership for Children and Nature was created in response to the rallying cry over the emerging issue of children spending less time in the outdoors and more time with media, while at the same time childhood obesity rates were increasing at an alarming rate. In 2010, a 17-member Texas Steering Committee convened, representing four state agencies, NGOs, health, education and business concerns, and chaired by Carter Smith, executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, to establish a plan to address the issue in Texas. The result was the creation of Texas Children in Nature, which would focus on forming regional collaboratives to work locally within communities to further the cause of reconnecting children with the natural world. Today Texas Children in Nature is a grassroots network of over 260 partner organizations and individuals working together to connect children, families and communities with nature in Texas.
The Children in Nature Collaborative is the San Francisco Bay Area grassroots movement to inspire and help organize communities to restore area children’s relationship to nature. When formed, the Collaborative identified six strategic areas of focus – forming collaborations, sharing resources, implementing projects and events, creating and adapting environments, growing the organization and spreading the message of the children and nature movement. Its strategy is implemented through organizations and individuals working across all sectors either in collaborative or independently-organized projects. Today, the Collaborative is made up of myriad community members – health professionals, environmentalists, teachers, parents, farmers, businesses, civic partners and activists — all actively working to connect children with the natural world.