Leadership Academy: An Opportunity for City Leaders to Connect Children to Nature

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This is a guest post by Alejandra Pallais, who provides communications support to the Children and Nature Network (C&NN).

City leaders interested in getting more young people outdoors and connected to nature can now apply to the 2019 Cities Connecting Children to Nature (CCCN) Leadership Academy in Denver.

The Leadership Academy is a fully subsidized two-day convening from June 12 to June 14 aimed at helping cities develop strategies and initiatives for more equitable connections to nature for children. These efforts can help city leaders leverage existing city goals and mandates related to health and wellness, parks and green space access, education, out-of-school time, resilience, and equity, among others.

Selected city teams will explore successful efforts to improve access to nature in cities across the country, with a focus on children from communities with historic or recent lack of access. City teams will receive guidance from experts who approach this issue from multiple disciplines, including planning, policy, metrics, equity, and youth development.

Following the Leadership Academy, participating cities will receive invitations to join the CCCN Peer Learning Network, which provides ongoing opportunities for city leaders to learn and receive support from nationally-recognized experts in the field and city peers.

CCCN is a collaborative between National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, and Children & Nature Network (C&NN), with generous support from The JPB Foundation. The partnership combines the grassroots strength and experience of C&NN with the policy reach and municipal leadership within NLC. CCCN has grown to include a cohort of eighteen cities that have developed and implemented citywide action plans for getting more young people outdoors and connected to biodiversity in parks, green spaces, and natural areas.

CCCN will accept applications that outline city interest and team make-up until COB April 19. City teams should include two to three representatives with policy and decision-making authority including at least one of the following individuals:

  • the mayor;
  • a city council member; or
  • a senior representative of the mayor’s or city manager’s office.

CCCN will select up to 12 cities. Download the complete Request for Application for more details and to access the online application.

About the Author: Alejandra Pallais provides communications support to the Children and Nature Network (C&NN) focusing specifically on the Connecting Children to Nature initiative, a collaboration between C&NN and NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education, and Families.