Designing Schoolyards in Northwest Philadelphia

Designing Schoolyards in Northwest Philadelphia
In the midst of the budget crisis, some good news regarding the creation of safe play spaces is coming to Northwest Philadelphia. Six Philadelphia elementary schools will be given the opportunity to re-imagine their school’s play spaces through a series of workshops that will take place Thursday, October 15 and Friday, October 16 with landscape architects and other design professionals from across the country. The students, staff, and community members will have the opportunity to envision and think big about their schoolyards

This project is organized and sponsored by Mt. Airy USA, the Big Sandbox, the LandHealth Institute, Iowa State University’s Landscape Architecture Department, the six local public schools, as well as East Mt Airy Neighbors and West Mt Airy Neighbors. The following schools are participating in this program: C.W Henry, Houston, Lingelbach, A.B. Day, Emlen, and J.S Jenks.

“At a time when our school district is facing great challenges, we feel fortunate to be able to give students and community members an opportunity to think big and think positively about what they envision for their schools,” says Abby Thaker, Managing Director of Mt. Airy USA, who launched the Mt. Airy Schools Coalition in 2012 in partnership with East Mt. Airy Neighbors and West Mt. Airy Neighbors. The first phase will fully utilize a neighborhood-driven, collaborative approach with a variety of stakeholders.

“Safe, inviting, and engaging play areas enable children to get the exercise they need, develop social skills, and ultimately perform better in the classroom,” says…
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1 Comment

  1. Thank you for reposting this article! We will have a Mt Airy Schoolyards Initiative website ready for the public in the next two weeks and would love to share it with you.

    Abby Thaker: (Mt. Airy Schools Coalition)
    Mt. Airy Schools Coalition:

    Bambi Yost: (Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, Iowa State University & former Project Manager for Learning Landscapes)
    See OR OR

    Lois Brink: (The Big Sandbox & Director of the Learning Landscapes)
    Learning Landscapes:
    See OR

    Jake Gaffigan: (The Big Sandbox)
    The Big Sandbox:

    Henry H. Houston Schoolyard Representative:
    Toby Kessler: (parent)

    Eleanor C. Emlen Schoolyard Representative:
    Chris Conallen: (teacher)

    Anna Lane Lingelbach Schoolyard Representative:
    Tim Riley: (teacher)

    John Story Jenks Schoolyard Representative:
    James Sanderson: (parent)

    A. B. Day Schoolyard Committee Representative:
    Dante Clark: (Climate Specialist)

    C. W. Henry Schoolyard Committee Representative:
    Leah Corsover: (C. W. Henry parent)


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