Cities Connecting Children to Nature initiative
By: Christina Hughey
If you haven’t heard yet St. Louis is a part of the Cities Connecting Children to Nature Initiative. Just six
cities were chosen to receive technical assistance as well as grants. St. Louis was chosen because the city
expressed dedication and commitment for connecting children to nature.
The CCCN ensures all children can play, learn and grow in nature. The CCCN helps the involved cities by
examining local assets, planning and applying strategies that will help with what the community needs
to create opportunities for children to be out in nature. The outdoor spaces can range from parks to a
community garden and everything in between. What is great about this is that it can close the “nature
gap” so all children have an equal opportunity to be in nature.
The benefits of children being in nature is endless. When children get off the screens and play in nature
many positive things happen. A few benefits include: increased self-esteem, resilience against stress,
learning creativity, cooperation and even preventing childhood obesity. To sum it up nature makes
children happier, healthier and smarter.