Space to Grow: Greening Chicago Schoolyards is an innovative partnership led by Healthy Schools Campaign and Openlands to transform Chicago schoolyards into vibrant spaces to play, learn, and be outside.
These green schoolyards provide communities with opportunities for active play and physical education, outdoor learning and environmental literacy, while significantly contributing to the effective management of stormwater. Each schoolyard is designed based on input from the entire school community. Students, staff, parents, and community members are invited to participate in the inclusive planning process, allowing for the unique needs and vision of the entire school community to be communicated and addressed in the design.
Space to Grow uses a unique model that brings together capital funds and leadership from Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Department of Water Management, and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.
Openlands has transformed nine CPS schoolyards through the Space to Grow partnership, with three new schoolyards completed in 2016 and five more planned for 2017.