How can my school become a Space to Grow school?

Schools must be eligible and invited to apply for a Space to Grow schoolyard transformation. If your school has been invited to apply, you can help by supporting your school and principal in putting together the strongest possible application. For more information, see Selection Criteria.

What if we applied for Space to Grow but our school was not selected?

Space to Grow is currently planning to build 34 schoolyards by 2022. If your school was invited to apply previously but was not selected, you could be invited to apply again in a subsequent year. For more information, see Selection Criteria.

Who pays for Space to Grow?

The installation of Space to Grow schoolyards are paid for by the program’s capital partners: Metropolitan Water Reclamation of Greater Chicago, the Chicago Department of Water Management and Chicago Public Schools. The managing partners—Healthy Schools Campaign and Openlands—fundraise to cover the project’s non-construction costs, including training and support for schools, community workshops, evaluation and project management.

Who are the Space to Grow partners and what do they do?

Space to Grow is an innovative program to transform Chicago’s schoolyards into vibrant outdoor spaces that benefit students, communities and the environment.

Healthy Schools Campaign and Openlands co-manage the program by facilitating the steering committee, developing and implementing support programs for Space to Grow schools, making sure school communities are involved and engaged in the planning, design and use of the schoolyards, managing program evaluation and providing general project management. Chicago Public Schools and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago provide training and workshops as well.

Metropolitan Water Reclamation of Greater Chicago, the Chicago Department of Water Management and Chicago Public Schools provide leadership, expertise and capital funding for the schoolyard renovations.

Space to Grow works with Loyola University and the Nutrition Policy Institute at the University of California to evaluate the impact of the program.

For more on each organization, see Partners.

How can I learn more?

We invite you to browse this site for detailed information about Space to Grow. If you have additional questions, please contact Meg Kelly, Space to Grow Director at Healthy Schools Campaign, via email or at 312-419-1810.