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Making Nature More Accessible for Students

Cities across the U.S. have made efforts to increase opportunities for students to have meaningful outdoor experiences. Through the mayor's offices, parks and recreation, public health and youth services departments, community leaders have developed strategies to get kids outside. "Research shows that childhood has moved indoors, leaving kids disconnected from the natural world. This trend has profound implications for children’s health and wellbeing and disproportionately affects marginalized youth in urban areas."
Through the Cities Connecting Children to Nature project, students take part in youth leadership development at local green spaces and are able to learn about green career programs. "We know that access to nature improves academic outcomes, community health, and quality of life,” Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, mayor of Gary, Indiana says. "And if our young people are more connected with the environment, they can–and will–have a better appreciation for what they see outside." You can read more about these outdoor initiatives here.