4837 W. Erie St., Austin neighborhood
November 18, 2019 Ribbon cutting at the new Space to Grow schoolyard to be shared by Nash Elementary and KIPP Academy in Chicago, President Kari K. Steele was on hand, Principals of KIPP and Nash, teachers and students, Space to Grow, green infrastructure, SPACE TO GROW: GREENING CHICAGO SCHOOLYARDS Space to Grow is an innovative program led by Healthy Schools Campaign and Openlands to transform Chicago schoolyards into vibrant outdoor spaces that benefit students, community members and the environment. Schoolyard renovations prioritize physical activity, play, learning, exploration and community engagement.
The green schoolyards also incorporate landscape features that capture a significant amount of rainfall, helping keep the city’s water resources clean and resulting in less neighborhood flooding. Space to Grow uses a unique model that brings together capital funds and leadership from Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Department of Water Management, and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Common elements of Space to Grow projects: turf fields for sports and play, play equipment for younger and older students, outdoor classroom areas, rain gardens with native plants, vegetable gardens, benches and seating throughout.
The Space to Grow schoolyard at Nash and KIPP Academy opened in fall 2019. The schoolyard features a track, a turf field, a nature play area, play equipment, rain gardens, an outdoor classroom, half-court basketball and painted games.