Space to Grow, Chicago’s green schoolyards program, serves as a model for green schoolyard programs around the country as well as internationally. Healthy Schools Campaign and Openlands are excited to share some Space to Grow resources that others can use to help amplify the national green schoolyards movement.
No one knows what a community needs better than the people who live, work and play there. Green schoolyards are not only used as outdoor classrooms and spaces for kids to run and play, they serve as community parks outside of school hours, so it’s imperative that they are designed by the people who will use them. Engaging with the entire community early in the process is key to a well utilized and maintained schoolyard that is seen by everyone as an asset that should be well cared for.
Green schoolyards achieve multiple benefits in the communities they serve—they promote healthy and active lifestyles, improve academic achievement and give communities a safe, shared green space to gather and connect with nature. Cross-sector partnerships are an important component to a green schoolyard program, as they ensure long term investment and buy-in from various perspectives, advocates and partners.
Policy Brief: Enhancing Health and Well-Being via the Built Environment:
Investing in Green Schoolyards
Green schoolyards are a wise investment of public dollars. This policy brief helps make the case for green schoolyards in all communities, and outlines recommendations and actions that communities, advocates and policy makers can take to advance the green schoolyards movement around the country.
A Growing Movement Supporting Health, Education and Connection with Nature
This report documents the journeys and lessons of green schoolyard programs across the country and is informed by a rich dialogue that has been taking place at the national and local levels about how to help children, families, schools, communities and our environment thrive. It shares information and stories as well as tangible steps communities can take to develop their own green schoolyards.
Healthy Schools Campaign and Openlands would like to thank the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for its generous support for these resources.