With careful planning, native trees, shrubs, and other plants in the schoolyard create shade for students as well as habitats for wildlife. Some plans use these green spaces to create pleasing boundaries between different play areas.
Even for a school seeking to make only improvements, the single step of de-paving a portion of a hard-top schoolyard creates space to green the landscape. During non-school hours, trees turn a schoolyard into a desirable destination for families, who tend to gravitate towards play spaces that offer ample shade.
reducing pollution and stormwater runoff
lessening the “heat island” effect: high temperatures that occur in places dominated by pavement and buildings
In designing the schoolyard’s hard surfaces, landscape architects can direct stormwater to feed gardens and trees in the yard.
The site plans and renderings below reflect ways to green the landscape at a number of our school project sites.
Gardens: Plans for vegetable and flower gardens at Nebinger School soften the urban landscape and provide opportunities for children to learn about healthy eating and nutrition.
A harsh landscape: The lack of shade at the McKinley School inhibits children’s physi¬cal activity, without spaces that offering much-needed relief from the sun.
Shade trees: The plan for the McKinley School yard provide a varied landscape, with shade trees as well as seating and play equipment.
Natural habitat: The plan for the Stanton School proposes new plantings that would mimic woodlands, meadows, and orchards and bring more birds, insects, and sounds—as well as seasonal color—to the schoolyard.
When planning and designing a sgreen choolyard, consider these elements: