About Cities Connecting Children to Nature

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Cities Connecting Children to Nature is an initiative of the National League of Cities and Children & Nature Network to increase more equitable and abundant access to nature within cities. Austin, San Antonio and Houston were selected to be CCCN cities. TCiN assists the effort in Texas.

CCCN offers support for city officials and their partners to develop a strategic plan and action to make nature access an integral part of city priorities, planning and policy making across a range of areas, including community health and wellness, education, out-of-school time programming, job creation, transportation, climate resilience, and land use. CCCN cities implement policy, develop new partnerships, amplify nature-based programming, and create more equitable nature access in parks and other urban infrastructure. Cities benefit from CCCN support in evidence-based practices, access to national experts, and structured peer learning opportunities.

Creative strategies from CCCN include shared-use green schoolyards, early childhood nature play spaces, NatureSmart Libraries and green career pathways. Also available is a partner initiative, the 10-Minute Walk to a Park Campaign, and the CCCN Resource Hub providing resources and tools, including a Municipal Action Guide and Metrics Toolkit.

To qualify for CCCN, each city expressed strong mayoral commitment and dedicated capacity for connecting children to the proven benefits of nature. CCCN city teams enlist cross-sector agencies and partners to prioritize increasing equitable access for low-income residents and people of color.

CCCN is supported through a partnership between the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families and the Children & Nature Network. The JPB Foundation provides generous support for this initiative.

The CCCN project began in 2016. Seven cities were chosen to be the pilot, including Austin. In 2018, CCCN welcomed eleven new cities to the initiative, including San Antonio and Houston. Texas is honored to be the only state with three cities participating in this initiative.

Find out how your city ranks in providing park land to the communities at Trust for Public Lands ParkScore.

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