Green Schoolyards

Green Space in Every Schoolyard: The Radical Plan to Cool Paris

In Paris, Project Oasis, a plan to convert the city’s 800 schools into green spaces by 2040, aims to provide respite in periods of extreme heat, and perhaps even bring down temperatures across the city, which reserves less than 10% of space to parks and gardens. But the project’s ultimate goal to open up these newly built green spaces to the general public may prove to be controversial.

New Guide Encourages Outdoor Play During School Hours

A new guide from the International School Grounds Alliance and Green Schoolyards America provides resources to encourage outdoor play during school hours. The free online resource is designed to engage children aged 3-18 in using their school grounds for play, learning, health, and ecologic connection and benefit.

Adair Elementary School in Philadelphia Gets a New Green Schoolyard

Philadelphia’s Adair Elementary School has a new green space, which gives students a great place to play that is environmentally friendly. The schoolyard was revitalized due to the efforts of a partnership among the School District of Philadelphia; the city’s Departments of Water and Parks & Recreation; Friends of Adaire, a volunteer group of Fishtown community members; and the Trust for Public Land, a nonprofit group working to create parks and protect land to ensure healthy, livable communities. The green schoolyard at the K-8 school will serve and features equipment designed to capture and reuse stormwater, a large rain garden with a nature trail, a toddler playground, and seating where residents can gather.

Green Schoolyards Offer Physical and Mental Health Benefits for Children

Research to be presented at the 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition finds that green schoolyards bring families and communities together in a healthy environment. C&NN Board Member, Dr. Stephen Pont, will present the abstract. For this study, researchers summarized the peer-reviewed scientific literature documenting green schoolyard benefits to academic outcomes, beneficial play, physical activity, and mental health.

A New Declaration States that Risk-Taking is Essential for Kids’ Development

A new declaration from the International School Grounds Alliance (ISGA) states that, while promoting risk-taking on school grounds may raise questions of liability for schools and concerns for parents, it is essential for the development of healthy young people. The declaration, which was made available in 13 different languages, cites research from around the world demonstrating the benefits of risk-taking and showing that an indiscriminate risk-minimization policy can be a source of harm.

Social and Emotional Health Are Important Benefits of School Gardens

While the academic benefits of school gardens for students have become more widely accepted in recent years, the social and emotional benefits are often overlooked. Yet, numerous studies of school gardens show improvements in students’ feelings of well-being and therefore, ability to learn.

Philly Community Workers Making School Playgrounds Green

Driven by community funding and planning, six elementary schools in Northwest Philadelphia will be breaking up the asphalt in their playgrounds in place of gardens and wooden equipment. The effort to green the schoolyards is especially important for children who may not have equitable access to nature.

Children & Nature Network Launches Green Schoolyards Initiative to Increase Equitable Access to Green Space for Children

C&NN announces an exciting new initiative aimed at enhancing the health and quality of life for children and families in urban communities. Green Schoolyards for Healthy Communities is an initiative led by the Children & Nature Network in partnership with the National League of Cities Institute for Youth Education and Families. The initiative will engage education leaders, cross-sector practitioners, policy makers and community leaders to promote green schoolyards across the nation.

Mayor Nutter Introduces Green Schoolyard Initiative Expansion in Philadelphia

Philadelphia is determined to become the greenest city in America. In order to do so, Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter recently announced the expansion of the city’s innovative Green2015 partnership to develop more green schoolyards across the school district.

Designing Schoolyards in Northwest Philadelphia

Students, parents and teachers at six elementary schools in Northwest Philadelphia are given the opportunity to think big about their ideal outdoor schoolyard. After they determine their master plan, the project will focus on a multi-million dollar fundraising campaign that will bring the community-led master plan concepts to fruition.


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