Join us for the largest gathering of children and nature advocates in the world. From inspiring keynotes to hands-on workshops, our biennial conference will inspire and equip you with best practices for increasing equitable access to nature for the children, families and communities you serve; learn about and get engaged in action agendas established at our 2018 Leadership Summit; and come prepared to network with nature connection leaders from around the world!
Seven dynamic tracks will address the strategic “levers” needed to increase nature access at the local, national and international levels — with equity and inclusion as foundational values.
Creating Nature-Filled Cities:
Cities have sharp disparities in nature access based on race and income. This track will highlight policies for creating cities where all children experience nature in their neighborhoods and at school.
Developing Networks of Community Leaders:
To shift an indoor culture back to nature, we need networks of community and youth leaders from a wide range of disciplines, backgrounds and experiences serving as bridge-builders to the natural world. This track will provide practical tools and resources for developing and supporting inclusive networks.
Improving Educational Outcomes Through Nature-based Learning:
Evidence shows that children who learn outdoors have improved educational outcomes. This track will address inequities in access to nature-based learning and green schoolyards with an emphasis on children in low-income communities.
Integrating Social-emotional Learning Into Nature Programs:
Education, health and other professionals have a growing interest in the importance of social-emotional learning. This track will highlight research, best practices and hands-on experiences
Addressing Health Equity Through Nature Connection:
Regular time in nature can improve physical and mental health and help mitigate health disparities. This track will explore Park Rx programs, food access and community gardens, the role of historical racism in creating nature access inequities, and culturally relevant collaborations to increase equitable access to green spaces.
Engaging Families in Nature:
Family members play a key role in children’s connection to the natural world. This track will share innovative and inclusive practices for engaging families in nature, creative and culturally relevant venues for nature experiences, and ideas for engaging non-traditional partners.
Creating an Inclusive Children and Nature Movement:
This track will highlight topics such as the history of inequity in land use and cultural relevancy and inclusiveness in nature-based programming. It will also explore the intersection of the children and nature movement with racial healing, environmental justice, food access and other social justice movements.
Our 2019 International Conference is guided by the following core values:
The Children & Nature Network is leading a global movement to increase equitable access to nature so that children—and natural places—can thrive. In pursuit of this, we define equity as striving for fair treatment, access and opportunity by seeking to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of historically underserved and underrepresented populations.
We are dedicated to creating environments in which all individuals and groups can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported and valued to fully participate in the children and nature movement.*
Diversity results when equity and inclusion are practiced consistently and with intention. The Children & Nature Network is an organization that is striving to embrace and build an inclusive and global movement that honors the psychological, physical, and cultural differences that occur among any and all individuals.
*adapted from the UC Berkeley Initiative for Equity, Inclusion & Diversity