Introducing the Space to Grow Song!

December 01, 2015

A few weeks ago, we officially opened the Space to Grow schoolyard at Willa Cather Elementary School. The students and community were thrilled by the new space, which features an edible Learning Garden from The Kitchen Community, several native plant gardens, a new turf field, multi-sport courts and new play equipment, including swings. All of these new elements include special surfaces and materials that capture rainfall during heavy storms, helping to keep water out of the sewers and prevent neighborhood flooding.

Cather is one of two Chicago Public Schools that recently received a $1.5 million schoolyard transformation from the Space to Grow program. Space to Grow is an innovative public-private partnership co-managed by Healthy Schools Campaign and Openlands that transforms Chicago schoolyards into centers of school and community life that support active and healthy lifestyles, outdoor learning, physical education and engagement with nature. The program receives capital funding and support from Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Department of Water Management and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.

Cather’s Dean of Students, Arick Lockhart, was so excited about the new schoolyard that he wrote and performed an amazing song at the school’s ribbon cutting ceremony. We’ve included the lyrics and a video of his performance below.

We love it!

Space to Grow Song

Space to Grow (four times)

We can build a community, we can be a family, be safe and play free
Grow our own produce, Cather is healthy school, staying fit we will never lose

Space to grow (four times)

We can swing and play, no dirt in our way, slide down our new sliding boards
We can run a relay, our track is so safe, no rocks are in our way
Our football team will prepare to win, ‘cause we practice on our new field
Basketball and volleyball, yeah we got it all, and our neighborhood won’t flood again

Space to grow (our minds)
Space to grow (our food)
Space to grow (outside classrooms)
Space to grow

Written and performed by Arick Lockhart