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Increased Nature Access for Children

by | Nov 25, 2014 | Government Entities

iStock_000020552565Resized_200_181To encourage and support city efforts that expand children’s access to nature, the National League of Cities (NLC) will partner with the Children & Nature Network to launch the Cities Promoting Access to Nature initiative.

A three year project was made possible by a major new grant from The JPB Foundation. It will help city leaders develop (or expand) strategies for getting more young people outdoors and connected to parks, green space and natural areas, with a focus on children and youth in economically stressed communities.

The initiative will also build upon the NLC’s new partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior and the YMCA of the USA. The three organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding in April 2014, pledging to coordinate efforts to reduce the disconnect between children and the outdoors.

“The enrichment and education of our nation’s children and young adults was one of the primary reasons I became involved in NLC,” said NLC President and Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. “I’m proud to say that this program will give mayors and other city leaders the capacity to work closely with the Children & Nature Network, Department of the Interior and the YMCA to drive major improvements in access to nature for low-income and minority communities throughout the country.”

Studies indicate that providing children with access to nature-rich environments:

  • reduces stress and anxiety
  • encourages healthy and active lifestyles
  • improves motor skills
  • can boost educational outcomes

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