Introducing the Green Schoolyards Collective
After a few years and lots and lots of conversation about how we might organize ourselves to make the greatest impact, The Intertwine Alliance is formally launching the Green Schoolyards Collective. We're thrilled that 44 organizations have already signed on to participate!
The collective was formed to coordinate the efforts of the many players working in the school setting who care about the important connection between health and nature. Originating from The Intertwine Alliance's Health and Nature Initiative, the group will advocate for expanded school garden programs, nature play spaces, outdoor classrooms and green infrastructure on school grounds, and find ways to assure these projects are sustainable.
In addition, the collective hopes to nurture and embed successful relationships between the schools and their community and nonprofit partners. A web page with resources – one-stop shopping for schools and nature projects and programs – is in the works. Discussions of a kick-off event are also happening, so stay tuned for more information soon.
Anyone interested in getting involved can apply here to be a member of the collective. It's free! Being a member will ensure you’re listed on the website and will receive all group communications. Questions? Feel free to get in touch with David Cohen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2016-17, The Intertwine Alliance and a team of community leaders developed a Greening of Schoolyards plan, funded by FamilyCare, to create a clear vision and pathway for this effort.
In January 2017, we brought Sharon Danks of Green Schoolyards America, one of the leading voices nationally on this topic, to Portland to connect with community and school leaders.
And in March 2017, we hosted the first Children, Nature & Schools Symposium and Green School Tour, with Cam Collyer of Toronto's Evergreen delivering a keynote address.
Greening of Schoolyards will:
- Build a leadership team to advance the movement
- provide advocacy and mentoring
- develop guidelines for successful projects to assure best practices and project sustainability
- identify funding sources and pursue opportunities to develop projects
- create a web portal for the gathering of information, tools, resources and contractors, as well as for promoting and raising visibility of these projects and issues