Research and Benefits

The School Grounds Greening project was inspired by Richard Louv’s “Last Child in the Woods,” which demonstrates the critical value of time spent outdoors to children’s health, learning and social skills.

The School Grounds Greening project aims to enrich our children’s educational experiences and learning environment by creating opportunities to play, learn and socialize in outdoor settings. In the process, it brings ecological and aesthetic benefits to the entire school community.

The benefits of greener school grounds are multifaceted and have been documented in recent studies:

Student benefits
• Increased physical exercise
• Improved concentration and greater creativity
• Increased positive social interactions

Financial benefits
• 10 to 20 percent energy savings
• Reduced maintenance costs
• Increased property values

Environmental benefits
• Added habitat for birds, butterflies and other creatures
• Improved air quality
• Reduced stormwater overloads

Community benefits
• Increased school involvement for parents
• Stronger sense of community
• Greener, healthier local environment

National/International School Grounds Greening Efforts

Education Outside

Boston Schoolyard Initiative

DC Schoolyard Greening

Evergreen (Canada)

The Trust for Public Land: Parks for People – Philadelphia

Richard Louv’s Homepage

Roosevelt Elementary students during a Scientists in School activity, Fall 2013

For more information, call 412-586-2388 or email

The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3)
of the Internal Revenue Code, and 100% of your donation is tax-deductable as allowed by law.