The Cities Connecting Children to Nature (CCCN) initiative creates more equitable and abundant access to nature in cities through a partnership between the The National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families and the Children & Nature Network. The CCCN initiative offers city government and community leaders support and guidance to enhance connections between children and nature.
CCCN training and technical assistance supports robust citywide action plans to implement policy, develop new partnerships, amplify nature-based programming, and create more equitable nature access. The CCCN team supports city leaders as they develop and expand strategies for getting more young people outdoors and connected to parks, green space and natural areas. The initiative seeks to ensure that a connection to nature becomes an integral part of city priorities, planning and policymaking across a range of areas, including community health and wellness, education, out-of-school time programming, job creation, transportation and land use.
CCCN helps cities confront pressing child development issues such as the decline of unstructured outdoor play and higher rates of emotional and physical health challenges related to sedentary, indoor lifestyles. The initiative also helps cities confront the marked disparities in nature access along socioeconomic and racial lines and responds to the need for a new generation of informed and dedicated environmental stewards. Through involvement in the initiative, city leaders across the U.S. are seizing opportunities to prioritize equitable and abundant access to natural green space, as well as outdoor recreation and learning opportunities for children who previously had little access.