About Space to Grow
Space to Grow transforms Chicago schoolyards into beautiful and functional spaces to play, learn, garden and enjoy being outside. The schoolyards also use special design elements to help reduce 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 is an innovative partnership led by Healthy Schools Campaign and Openlands, using a unique model that brings together capital funds and leadership from the Chicago Department of Water Management, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and Chicago Public Schools.
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.