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

Teaching Children to Appreciate Their Natural Environment

From watching a turtle lay her eggs to exploring creepy crawly critters, a North Carolina… [+]

LEAP Hopes to Expand Opportunities for Kids of Ottawa County

In addition to the wilderness playgrounds encouraging free-range play for younger kids around the country,… [+]

Every Kid’s Inalienable Right to Just Play

A small town in Michigan is leading the charge to build barrier-free playgrounds that make… [+]

Green Neighbourhoods Lead to Higher Birth Weights: Study

Grass, trees, flowers and green space make it more likely for mothers to deliver at… [+]

Pediatrician, Parks Improve Child Health

More and more often, pediatrician Robert Zarr and his colleagues are prescribing nature to city… [+]

Leaps and Bounds Daycare Receives National Certification

Classrooms across the country, such as Leaps and Bounds Daycare in Nebraska, are being certified… [+]

Are We Babying Our Kids? Can Riskier Playgrounds Make Healthier Adults?

The conversation on danger in play continues, as more and more adventure playgrounds encouraging unstructured,… [+]

Disney and National 4-H Council Join Together to Connect Youth to the Environment

Disney and 4-H are banding together in an exciting new program that aims to provide… [+]

Rumination and Reprieve in Utah’s First Wilderness

A natural setting, community, and a sense of challenge: according to pioneer in wilderness therapy… [+]

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