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About Us


Children will have the opportunity to value, discover, and experience the natural world around them

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Our Mission

The mission of the North Carolina Children and Nature Coalition (NCCAN!) is to establish a relationship between children of North Carolina and the natural world by bringing together people and organizations to strengthen, broaden, and support efforts that build these connections. 

Our Coalition

NCCAN! is made up of partners and members of the community engaged in connecting children with the natural world – health professionals, teachers, parents, environmentalists,  architects, built environment professionals, farmers, businesses,  local and state government agencies, community organizations and nonprofits, parks and recreation specialists, civic partners and community activists. As a regional movement, the Collaborative encourages broad leadership, mutual support, partnerships, openness, and flexibility with a clear focus toward a cultural shift and world in which all children play, learn, and grow with nature in their everyday lives.

Our Goals

  • To build a strong local network of organizations and individuals that provides a diversity of opportunities and recognizes the most effective practices.
  • To connect children with nature through public awareness and social marketing.
  • To advocate public policy that promotes safe outdoor experiences for children and families.
  • To build relationships with other professionals, constituencies, and national efforts to promote the values of the coalition.
  • To promote the efforts of NCCAN! partners.
  • To identify and support the ongoing needs of our partners in their activities that align with the NCCAN! mission.
  • To develop initiatives to address issues in the state related to the NCCAN! mission and coordinate and support efforts of partners to
    respond to the initiative.

What We Do

Professional Development 

  • Annual Conference
  • Promote Partner Conferences
  • Best Practice
    • Training: Webinar Series
    • Conferences
    • Academic through higher education partnerships


  • Website: announcements, resources, national research
  • Partnership with North Carolina University System to promote applicable research


  • NC Children’s Declaration for Children and Nature (Outdoor Bill of Rights)
  • NC Environmental Literacy Plan
  • No Child Left Inside
  • Healthy Child Act

Communication & Support

  • Website as a resource for parents and professionals with events, announcements, resources, local affiliate news, toolkits to national efforts.
  • Parent Resources and events through Nature Rocks.
  • Full-color e-newsletter delivered 4 times per year to members and policymakers 
  • Facilitate collaborations and networking between partner organizations 
  • Facilitate efforts to involve high school teens in the children and nature movement through supporting partner efforts that reach out to high school youth and engage them in activities in nature and connect them to Natural Leaders.

Regional Chapters

When you join NCCAN! you also become a member of your regional affiliate chapter.  Local Affiliate Chapters are members from specific counties that have come together and determined priorities and action plans for their local communities. All regional affiliate chapters have a Regional Coordinator liaison that is a member of the NCCAN! Leadership Team and serve as a communications liaison between the State and regional efforts.

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