Nature for Every Child. Every Day
A citywide collaborative
San Francisco Children & Nature is a cross-sector collaborative that works to ensure all children & youth growing up in the city have the same opportunities to PLAY, LEARN and GROW in NATURE.
Founded in 2017 as part of the nation-wide Cities Connecting Children to Nature (CCCN) initiative, SF Children & Nature now includes active participation from over 30 government agencies, non-profit institutions, and community-based organizations.
Nature for Every Child. Every Day
In collaboration with our members, we work to address the disparities in nature access along socioeconomic and racial lines to ensure all children have the opportunity to play, learn and grow in the outdoors.
We recognize nature as vital to a healthy childhood. Children who experience nature as part of their daily lives are healthier, happier and more resilient.
Addressing equity in nature connection is an opportunity to address toxic stress, trauma, obesity and mental health all of which disproportionately affect low-income populations and children of color, and can serve to mitigate patterns of racialized and class-based outcomes for youth.
We emphasize the importance of nearby nature in all schools, early childhood centers, and neighborhoods along with access to citywide nature-based places and programs.
A National Initiative
We were founded in 2017 as part of the national Cities Connecting Children to Nature (CCCN) initiative to inspire and support cities, city leaders, and their partners to prioritize access to natural green space, outdoor recreation, and learning opportunities for underrepresented children.
SF Children & Nature brings together educators, program directors, recreation and parks staff, health care and urban planning professionals —who are aligned with our vision, mission and core values and interested in maximizing their impact through collective action.
The administrative “backbone” of the organization is jointly supported by SF Recreation & Parks, the Presidio Trust and YMCA – SF through co-chairs:
- Chuck Collins, President & CEO, YMCA of San Francisco
- Phil Ginsburg, General Manager, San Francisco Recreation and Parks
- Jean Fraser, Chief Executive Officer, Presidio Trust
- Jenny Lam, Education Advisor, Mayor’s Office and Commissioner of the San Francisco Board of Education
Our members support 3 work groups who met every other month to plan and execute priority strategies, share best practices, collaborate, and learn from each other.
EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION
Increase equity in access, quality, and abundance of nature experiences in early childhood and early care and education sites.
COMMUNITY & YOUTH ENGAGEMENT
Engage community and youth leaders from equity zone neighborhoods
NATURE CONNECTION DESIGN
Increase equity, quality, and abundance of nearby nature experiences by embedding nature in everyday places used by children.
Our participating organizations contribute financially and through staff participation to support the core activities of our collaborative work.
Mayor’s Office / Our Children Our Families Council of SF
Office of Early Childhood Education
SF Department of Children, Youth and their Families
SF Department of Public Health
SF Public Libraries
SF Public Utilities Commission
SF Public Works
SF Recreation & Parks
SF Unified School District
+Early Education Department
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Literacy for Environmental Justice
Real Options for City Kids
Non-Profit: Citywide (or larger context)
California Academy of Science
Children’s Council of San Francisco
First 5 of San Francisco
Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy
Green Schoolyards America
SF Botanical Garden
SF Parks Alliance
Tandem, Partners in Early Learning
YMCA of San Francisco
Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF)