Asphalt to Ecosystems: Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation

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The most comprehensive guide to designing and building green schoolyards.

In Asphalt to Ecosystems: Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation (New Village Press), author Sharon Danks broadens our notion of what a well-designed schoolyard should be, taking readers on a journey from traditional, ordinary grassy fields and asphalt, to explore what's being created in the growing movement toward "green" schoolgrounds in the United States and around the world. This book documents exciting examples from more than 150 schools in 11 countries, illustrating a vast range of possibilities in outdoor classrooms for learning and play.

More than 500 vivid color photographs showcase some of the world's most innovative green schoolyards including: edible gardens with fruit trees, vegetables, chickens, honeybees, and outdoor cooking facilities; wildlife habitats with prairie grasses and ponds, or forest and desert ecosystems; schoolyard watershed models, rainwater catchment systems, and waste-water treatment wetlands; renewable energy systems that power landscape features or the whole school; waste-as-a-resource projects that give new life to old materials in beautiful ways; K-12 curriculum connections for a wide range of disciplines from science and math to art and social studies; creative play opportunities that diversify schoolground recreational options and encourage children to run, hop, skip, jump, balance, slide, and twirl, as well as explore the natural world first hand.

The book grounds these examples in a practical framework that illustrates simple landscape design choices all schools can use to make their schoolyards more comfortable, enjoyable, and sustainble. And it describes a participatory design process that schools can use to engage their communities in transforming their own asphalt into ecosystems.

ISBN 978-0-9766054-8-5
Publication Date: November 2010
Pages: 288
Includes Index; Bibliography; Appendices
Illustrations: 500 color photographs
Dimensions: 8.5 x 9.8 in.
Publisher: New Village Press
Distributor: Consortium

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Sharon Gamson Danks
Topic Areas: 
Sustainable Development
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Geographic Location: 
All Minnesota
Outside Minnesota
288 pp.
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