The Children & Nature Network (C&NN) Co-founder and Chairman Emeritus, Richard Louv, recently announced Green Schoolyards for Healthy Communities, a partnership with the National League of Cities Institute for Youth Education and Families. This initiative will build off of C&NN’s work to further engage education leaders, policy makers and community leaders to promote green schoolyards across the nation. Louv writes, a “[…] growing body of scientific evidence suggests that the creation of nature-rich urban environments, including schoolyards with natural play spaces and gardens, can help improve physical and mental health, cognitive skills, creativity, and social cohesion. New longitudinal studies also suggest that nature-rich schools can help raise standardized test scores.”
Photo Source: sas.upenn.edu
The green schoolyard movement has arrived here in Philadelphia and we have witnessed the powerful community transformation that occurs with it. These fun and educational play spaces have enormous physical, social, academic benefits for students, in addition to their function as stormwater management systems. Although there have been challenges implementing these spaces, research like C&NN’s should be leveraged to support more greened schoolyards in Philadelphia and beyond.
Learn more about the initiative and find additional readings, resources on green schoolyards here.