The Need for Sustainable Schoolyards
For Our Community
How communities choose to grow can profoundly affect environmental quality, public health, and community character. Increasingly, urbanized and suburbanized communities endorse highly simplified landscapes that can be detrimental to residents’ quality of life. Ecosystem services like stormwater absorption, climate moderation, drought and flood mitigation, air and water purification, wildlife habitat creation, and crop and vegetation pollination are lost through these artificial and ecologically unbalanced environments that require large inputs of energy, chemicals, and water.
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For Our Youth
Many of today’s school sites oblige this trend and act as poor models for sustainability and conservation. Research has shown that most of these landscapes lack the green infrastructure necessary to reap the educational, environmental, and physiological benefits that green spaces can provide. Recent studies also demonstrate that American children are increasingly disengaged from nature. School grounds serve as the setting in which a community’s youth grows up to be the next generation of voters, leaders, and environmental stewards. Exposing students to sustainable landscape practices and environmental education principles will enable them to shape their communities for the long-term.
The Importance of Connecting Kids to Nature
For Our Future
Under-performing schoolyard landscapes can be dramatically transformed into compelling places that teach about the environment while fostering well-being, inspiration, and healthier and more vibrant communities. The SSP is an effort to involve students in this process. By giving youth the tools and voice to lead, we hope to inspire them to take personal responsibility in making sound environmental choices about where they live.
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