Madison Selected for “Nature Everywhere” Communities Initiative


The City of Madison is proud to announce it is one of nineteen communities in the country selected to join the inaugural Nature Everywhere Communities initiative. The initiative is designed to increase equitable access to nature everywhere children live, learn, and play.

“This partnership embodies our city's commitment to sustainability and equity, recognizing that access to nature is not only a fundamental human right but also a cornerstone of public health and well-being,” said City of Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. 

Nature Everywhere Communities will receive two years of strategic planning, technical support, and start-up funding to develop and implement community-driven plans for connecting children and families to nature-based experiences and learning. 

The Madison Nature Everywhere team is a partnership between Public Health Madison & Dane County, the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Nature Net, the City of Madison, Madison Metropolitan School District, and Madison Parks. The group worked together throughout the competitive application process to join the effort. A collective of organizations from across Dane County are also part of this effort.

“The Madison team’s application hit every mark when it comes to our Nature Everywhere goals,” says Sarah Milligan-Toffler, President and CEO of the Children & Nature Network. “At the heart of the team’s work is health equity and nature connections. With a strong representation from the public health department, the team is looking to address health and racial inequities in Madison. We look forward to supporting and strengthening their efforts.”

A growing body of evidence indicates that spending time outdoors, in nature, is essential for children’s healthy development. Time in nature improves physical and mental health, academic outcomes, and social-emotional learning.

“By working in collaboration, we are taking tangible steps towards ensuring that every resident, regardless of background or circumstance, has equal opportunities to connect with and benefit from the natural world,” said Rhodes-Conway.

As part of this initiative, the City of Madison will host a Nature Everywhere Day event on June 1, 2024. Local organizations are invited to get involved by sponsoring the event or taking part with a nature-based activity or service. For more information, contact the Madison planning team by May 1, 2024. 


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