Connecticut Nature Near Schools

A Discovery Map

Welcome to Nature Near Schools: A Discovery Map

from The Trust for Public Land

This interactive map illustrates which K-12 schools in Connecticut benefit from accessible, conserved open space, and where there are gaps. You can use this tool to locate or imagine new spaces near your school for outdoor learning and community connection.

How can this map help?

This interactive and user-friendly map draws upon GIS data to:

  • Help users discover accessible outdoors around schools. The map shows what conserved open space is currently publicly accessible and within walking distance (less than or equal to ½-mile by surface roads and sidewalks) of every K-12 school in Connecticut. This discovery function can help educators, administrators, outdoor education programs, and other community-based organizations see where students can get outside for learning and play, close to school.
  • Help users identify nature gaps: The map helps communities, conservation organizations, towns and other organizations identify what schools and communities lack conserved, publicly-accessible open space within walking distance of the school, so as to close these gaps.
  • Help prioritize opportunity areasThe map pinpoints what schools in the region lack access and should be prioritized for outreach and exploration, based on health, equity, and education indicators.

Type in your location to discover what lies within reach of your school or community. Click on the “Layer List” icon at the bottom of the map to turn on other layers of enriching contextual data of the landscape.

Please also check out our resource directory for additional support and resources for unleashing nature as teacher from experts and programs across the State. We welcome your questions, comments, and feedback. Please contact us at


This spatial assessment of nature nearby considers only whether there is a publicly-accessible recreational resource and its proximity to schools. Due to data limitations, it does not consider how well the resource serves the needs of the residents and students, for example, whether it has native vegetation, or if it is in good condition. Currently, data are also not available to consider the quality of the walk to the recreational resource. Because the best available school location data are points, we are not able to use spatial analysis to quantify the quality of the resources on the school campus.