About Space to Grow
Space to Grow is an innovative partnership led by Healthy Schools Campaign and Openlands to transform Chicago schoolyards into vibrant outdoor spaces that benefit students, community members and the environment. Schoolyard renovations prioritize physical activity, outdoor learning, exploration and community engagement. The green schoolyards also incorporate landscape features that capture a significant amount of rainfall, helping keep the city’s water resources clean and resulting in less neighborhood flooding.
Each schoolyard includes spaces for physical activity, such as turf fields, jogging tracks, basketball and tennis courts, and play equipment for all ages. The grounds feature areas for outdoor learning and exploration, such as outdoor classrooms, native trees and plants, vegetable gardens and art installations. They also include special landscape features that absorb large amounts of water.
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.
Space to Grow is transforming more schoolyards every year. Each Space to Grow school engages in a months-long planning process during which school staff, students and community members provide a vision for their schoolyard. The schoolyards are then designed and constructed to meet the unique needs and visions of each community.
Once schoolyard construction is complete, Space to Grow partners continue to support schools to help them maintain, enhance and maximize the educational benefits of their schoolyards.
Stay posted for a new Space to Grow website coming soon!