Skip to navigation
C&NN C&NN Tools C&NN Directory

NEWSLINKS

News Links, Articles & Commentary

Boston Schoolyard Initiative Wins Acclaim

Boston Herald – August 13, 2008
By Katy Jordan

The Boston Schoolyard Initiative - acknowledged yesterday as a national model by the National League of Cities - is turning learning inside out in an effort to combat child obesity.

“I call it the ‘No Child Left Inside Act,’ ” program director Juliet Stone said of the initiative that has refurbished 71 of Boston’s public schoolyards.

“Kids in the city are cut off from nature. Active, outdoor living should be valued as much as indoor learning and nutrition,” Stone added.

The schoolyards, in which kids grow plants and vegetables, serve as outdoor classrooms for science and writing, as well as an outdoor natural oasis.

The initiative is a long-running partnership between the city, Boston public schools and the Boston Schoolyard Funders Collaborative.

The refurbished schoolyards cost about $75,000 each to build and are funded two-thirds by the city and one-third by private funds.

“It’s important for kids to have an intimate relationship with the outside world,” Stone said. “It all gives them a better sense of belonging and environmental responsibility.”‘

By 2010, the city expects to refurbish another 14 schoolyards, according to Kim Comart, Interim Manager at Boston Schoolyards Funders Collaborative.

“It’s really about respecting children,” Comart said. “A schoolyard of asphalt that’s filled with broken glass and trash sends a message to kids that we don’t care.”

“All of our schools now benefit from this effort; as a result, we can now provide our students with endless opportunities for creative learning, physical activity and fun,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino said yesterday at the Leadership for Healthy Communities program at Boston’s Park Plaza Hotel.

And the kids aren’t the only ones who benefit.

“It’s a pleasure to be out here, experiencing planting and growing,” said Christie Whittemore, a third-grade teacher at the Trotter School in Dorchester, emphasizing the effectiveness of outdoor science lessons.

Fair Use Notice
This site contains brief excerpts from copyrighted material with links to the original source. Click here for more information on C&NN's Fair Use Policy.
Recent News

Youth Leader Yusuf Burgess, 64

In 2014, the children and nature movement lost one of its most inspiring leaders. Brother… [+]

Forest Schools: Fires, Trees and Mud Pies

Forest schools are taking the UK by storm, and some, such as the new Dandelion… [+]

Critics Say Doubling Cost to Enter Yellowstone and Grand Teton Parks Prices People Out

With accessibility to national parks already proving to be challenging for some groups of people,… [+]

Returning to Our Home in the Woods

A thoughtful commentary on wild places being our instinctive home as humans and just how… [+]

Unknowns In Terms Of Funding And Personnel Await New Units Of National Park System

The new defense bill passed by Senate last week also calls for an extensive National… [+]

Connecting With Nature? There’s an App for That

IslandWood president and CEO Ben Klasky argues that designating the outdoors as a "technology-free zone"… [+]

Multigenerational Playgrounds Serve Kids, Parents, Grandparents

Outdoor exercise stations and walking paths next to slides, swings and monkey bars: Wonderful, functional… [+]

A Therapist Goes to Middle School and Tries to Sit Still and Focus. She Can’t. Neither Can the Kids.

As a follow-up to a Washington Post series that looked at restricted movement and its… [+]

A Mobile Kitchen Designed To Help Kids Learn To Like Their Vegetables

When an edible schoolyard or on-campus kitchen isn't an option, a new mobile kitchen concept… [+]

Help Connect Children & Nature.


image

Nature Clubs for Families Tool Kit

image
Download the Tool Kit [>]
The Tool Kit includes a Quick Start Guide with simple instructions on how to start a local Nature Club for Families.

Newsletter Archive


[+] view full archive

C&NN Publications

As part of our ongoing efforts to build the movement, the Children & Nature Network has published these resources for leaders, organizers, and participants at the local, national, and international levels:

2010 C&NN Report
[>] Download PDF [2MB]

Children and Nature 2009: A Report on the Movement to Reconnect Children to the Natural World
[>] Download PDF [1.1MB]

C&NN Community Action Guide: Building the Children & Nature Movement from the Ground Up
[>] Download PDF [1.4MB]
Back to top