At a city park, children happily sift through dirt in search of nature's secrets.
At a suburban park, kids learn to build shelters from branches and straws.

Children & Nature Network

At the Children & Nature Network (C&NN), we support and mobilize leaders, educators, activists, practitioners and parents working to turn the trend of an indoor childhood back out to the benefits of nature—and to increase safe and equitable access to the natural world for all.

We believe that the well-being of children and the wild places we love are inextricably linked. Research tells us that regular time outdoors is essential for children’s healthy development, but today’s kids are less connected to nature than ever before.

We also know that longstanding systems of injustice have impacted the design and distribution of green spaces, and require new policies informed by people who have been impacted by racism and systems of inequity. We are committed to doing what we can to undo those injustices and increase equity in access to nature. Our vision is that all children and youth—especially those who face the greatest barriers—have access to nature everywhere they live, learn and play.

To increase equitable access to nature, we need to influence the big systems that impact children’s lives: city policies and programs; schools and early childhood programs; family access to safe, nearby green spaces and outdoor experiences; and youth development programs to inspire a new generation of diverse, nature-smart leaders.

In order to drive systems-level change, we foster the belief that connection to nature is critical for children’s healthy developments, using evidence-based tools and research. We change core systems that impact children’s daily lives through place-based strategies, policies and partnerships. We also seek to change mindsets that hold barriers to equitable access to nature in place. Finally, we grow the movement and our collective impact by providing cross-sector leaders with tools, resources, technical assistance, training, and opportunities for peer learning.

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