Featured Article

"How turning gray schoolyards green could help cities cool off"

Mother Nature Network, August 2018

Despite a number of well-known parks and leafy boulevards, Paris, France has significantly less green space than many of it's Eurpoean neighbors. As part of a plan to improve climate resilience, one organization there has launched a campaign to turn all 800 schools in Paris into "islands of cool." 

This article describes the project, including how the schools are addressing security and cost concerns, and compares these efforts to the ones Green Schoolyards America is leading stateside - especially our partnership with the Trust for Public Land and related pilot projects at schools in Oakland Unified School District.



For press inquiries, including requests for interviews or approved photos, please contact us at info [at] greenschoolyards [dot] org


"Schools’ Most Untapped Resource"
Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter 2019
In this article, journalist Adrienne Day explores Green Schoolyards America’s work to connect ecological innovation with education, equity, and community engagement.

"Why Green Classrooms could be the Schools of the Future"
Nation Swell, November 2018
In this article, journalist Adrienne Day explores the possibilities that green schoolyards afford to children and the environment, and includes insights from our CEO Sharon Danks, researcher William Sullivan, and our colleagues from Golestan Education and Hoover Elementary.

"A Vision for Green Schoolyards Across California"
Green Technology Magazine, October 2018
Green Technology Magazine’s Carl Smith interviews our CEO, Sharon Danks, about the need for living schoolyards and our vision for using school grounds to improve the well-being of children, their communities, and the environment across the state, and beyond.

"5 Organizations That Are Transforming Eco Curricula"
Sierra magazine, August 2018
Our schoolyard Activity Guides are featured by the Sierra Club as one of their top free resources for bringing nature into the classroom!

"The Asphalt Jungle"
Podship Earth (podcast), May 2018
Jared Blumenfeld, the U.S. EPA’s Region 9 Administrator under President Obama, interviews our CEO, Sharon Danks, along with Richard Louv, Wanda Stewart, and others (including children!) in a fantastic podcast about the importance of greening school grounds. These interviews highlight the health-related aspects of the green schoolyard movement.

"Una enseñanza más rica" (“A Richer Education”, in Spanish)
Para Todos La 2 - Antonella Broglia (video), January 2018
Social entrepreneur Antonella Broglia highlights two innovators who redesign schools to achieve a richer education for children. This video focuses on the work of Kabir Vajpeyi in India and Sharon Danks in the USA.

"Transforming Schoolyards, Our Most Abundant Public Spaces"
Forbes, November 2017
Interviews with Sharon Danks about her plan to turn asphalt schoolyards into vibrant green spaces the improve the well-being of children, their communities, and the environment across America. 

"14 People Inspiring a Brighter Future"
Medium, October 2017
Ashoka announces its newest class of Ashoka Fellows in 2017, including Sharon Danks, Green Schoolyards America's CEO. Scroll to the bottom for a profile about Sharon.

"School Grounds: Special Places for the Child and Nature in our Cities"
Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly, June 2017
This feature article, written by Sharon Danks and Cam Collyer, explores the history of green schoolyards in the USA and Canada. Both of the authors have works in this field for ~20 years, and they provide their insights about where the movement has been, and where it is headed next. The piece also includes examples of specific schools and programs in both countries.

"Some Schools Trading the Blacktop for Greentop as an Innovative way to Teach Science"
EdSource, March 2017
This article on green school grounds in California highlights Sequoia Elementary in Oakland and Golestan Education in Berkeley. It provides information on where schools can find funding and how they tackle the typical hurdles of school ground greening. Sharon Danks adds Green Schoolyards America’s perspective.

"Curriculum Review: 2016 Living Schoolyard Activity Guides"
Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly, March 2017
In this article, author Herb Broda reviews our 2016 Living Schoolyard Activity Guides. Activities in this edition were organized by region, to help practitioners find ideas that best fit their climate and ecology. 

"How Small Steps Can Create Outdoors Experiences In Schools"
Mindshift, KQED News, February 2017
This article profiles a school near St. Louis, Missouri that has increased their use of the outdoors as a learning space and place for healthy development, with limited funding. The school saw an increase in academic engagement and kindness in the ways that students interacted with each other. Sharon Danks adds Green Schoolyards America’s perspective to the conversation.

"The Nature-Rich School: How Parents and Teachers Can Support One Another as Natural Teachers"
Vitamin N (book), 2016
Best-selling author, Richard Louv, lists 500 ways to enrich the health and happiness of your community and combat nature-deficit disorder. In Part 7, The School of Nature, our CEO, Sharon Danks, suggests ways to do this through the design and use of school grounds on page 196.

"From Green Schools to Green Communities" 
Nature Kids Radio, Episode 10 (podcast), 2016
Kenny Ballentine, founder of The Nature Kids Institute, interviews Green Schoolyards America's CEO, Sharon Danks, for Episode 10 of his podcast, Nature Kids Radio. The conversation focuses on the value of risk for child development.

"Making Mountain View Schools a Little Greener"
Mountain View Voice, February 2016
Interesting example of a school board considering options for greening their grounds within the context of construction project budgets and bond funding allocation processes. Highlights the importance of collaboration. (See page 5 of the Feb. 2016 edition.)

"Hitched to Everything: Place-Based Learning"
How to Raise a Wild Child (book), 2015
Scientist, educator, and TV personality, Scott Sampson, discusses how a connection to place can help children understand the foundations of ecology better than a traditional science education. Green Schoolyards America and Sharon Danks are included on pages 113-114.

"Skolgården en del av stadens ekosystem" 
(“Green Schoolyards as Part of the City’s Ecosystem”, in Swedish)

STAD #9, June 2015
Anna Lenninger writes about Green Schoolyards America’s city-wide approach to planning school grounds as important components of urban ecological infrastructure. This article is in Swedish, and appears on pages 46-49 of this printed publication.

"Green Schoolyards America – a Green Thumbprint for Kids in Berkeley"
YourBerkeley.com, May 2015
Spotlight on Green Schoolyards America as one of the many progressive, environmentally-conscious organizations in Berkeley.

"Call of the Wild: Do Overprotected Kids Need to “Get Risky” on Playgrounds Like This?"
UC Berkeley Alumni Association, November 2014
Article about the benefits of risk for children, especially in playgrounds. Highlights Berkeley's Adventure Playground and the history of the adventure playground movement.

"A Look at Five Schools That are Taking Learning Back to Nature"
The Globe and Mail, November 2013
Profiles schools in Sweden, Japan, Berlin, British Columbia, and Pakistan as part of an article on the international green school grounds movement.

“American Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award: Communications Category”
ASLA Awards, October 2012
Award announcement and project description for our CEO's book Asphalt to Ecosystems: Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation

“New Group with Berkeley Roots Aims to Get Kids Outside”
Berkeleyside, April 2012
Green Schoolyards America’s CEO, Sharon Danks, is also the co-founder of the International School Grounds Alliance. She described the birth of this collaborative international organization in this article.

"Asphalt to Ecosystems – Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation"
Go Green Radio (audio), March 2012
Radio episode about Sharon Danks's book on green schoolyard design. Focus on broadening our notion of what school grounds should be.

"Dreaming of School Gardens?"
National Education Association, 2012
Ideas and examples on how to create school gardens from teachers and experts around the country.

"Voices From the International School Grounds Movement"
International School Grounds Alliance (video), October 2011
Perspectives from seven international leaders in the school ground field, as presented at the International Green Schoolyards Conference held in California in September 2011.

"The Next Crop: Landscape Architects Help Direct Efforts to Make Edible, Sustainable (and Fun) Schoolyards in San Francisco"
Landscape Architecture Magazine, July 2011
This article examines the growing green schoolyard movement in San Francisco, and the design firms that are helping to change children’s landscapes in the city. Sharon Danks shares her perspective as someone who helped to establish and design the district’s program.

"How to Build a Better Playground"
OnEarth, May 2011
OnEarth’s Shanti Menon interviews Sharon Danks about her vision for transforming school grounds into green schoolyards. This article also includes a short video that profiles Sharon’s ideas in the context of the green schoolyard at Rosa Parks Elementary School in Berkeley.

"A Planner Who Favors Edible, Eco Education — and Risks"
Berkeleyside, March 2011
Berkeleyside’s Sarah Henry interviews Sharon Danks about her book, Asphalt to Ecosystems, the global green schoolyard movement, and the value of risk in children’s play environments.

"Asphalt to Ecosystems: An Interview with Sharon Danks"
Creative STAR, February 2011
Highlights favorite sections of the book. Includes a bulleted list of top pieces of advice for schools wanting to green their grounds.

"Green Playgrounds Spring Up Around Bay Area"
The Daily Californian, February 2011 (no link)
Highlights our CEO Sharon Danks's work designing green schoolyards for San Francisco Unified School District with her firm Bay Tree Design.

"Nature's Classroom: Eco-friendly schoolyards a space for teaching everything from poetry to nutrition"
Chicago Tribune, October 2010
Our CEO, Sharon Danks, returns to childhood home of Highland Park for book signing and to speak about enhancing learning and play through environmentally-friendly playgrounds and learning spaces.