Schoolyard habitats provide urban oases and outdoor classrooms, benefiting schools and communities at large.
In New Haven, Connecticut, students cut the ribbon opening a new schoolyard habitat at Fair Haven School. At present there are ten schoolyard habitats in Fair Haven and 21 in the state of Connecticut. The habitats have been growing since 2014.
Schoolyard habitat program manager at Common Ground High School Suzannah Holsenbeck says that the program brings about a partnership between community partners, applicant schools and the environmentally focused charter school Audobon Connecticut, providing safe and sustainable green spaces at urban schools.
“The word is out: this is a good program and people know you can create an awesome outdoor educational space,” she said.
“This is very mission-driven for us. We want to expand urban students’ accessibility to green spaces,” Holsenbeck explained. “When you start exposing students at a young age to what it means to learn and to be outside in a capacity other than recess, you’re teaching attitudes and empowering students to change their environment.”