New ASLA Professional Practice Network: Children’s Outdoor Environments

Here’s another sign that people are recognizing the importance of outdoor environments for kids: The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) recently approved a new Professional Practice Network (PPN) on Children’s Outdoor Environments. The Healthcare and Therapeutic Design and other PPNs have touched on this subject, but it’s high time it had its own PPN, so kudos to Jena Ponti, this year’s chair, for making it happen. Here’s her guest blog post about the new ASLA Children’s Outdoor Environments PPN:

“Landscape architects play a critical role in advocating and designing a variety of places for children to play, learn, and develop a relationship with the natural environment to carry with them into adulthood and citizenship.  The movement to (re)connect children with nature has been steadily growing and gaining momentum.  

In a time when children, on average, spend 45 hours a week “plugged in” and less than 30 minutes a week in outdoor unstructured play, our profession has no option but to act.

One exciting step forward is the recent passing of the No Child Left Inside Act H.R. 3036 and S. 1981.  This Act symbolizes recognition on a federal level of the movement to uplift ecological literacy in schools through enhanced environmental education curriculum.  The NCLI Act requires K-12 school systems to strengthen environmental education curriculums, provide teacher training, and provide federal grant money for schools to pay for environmental education.  This Act will provide $100 million a year to support this work in participating school systems.”

For more information on the Children’s Outdoor Environments PPN please contact Jena Ponti, RLA at or click HERE. 

Many thanks to Jena for this guest post, and to A.S. for the photo of his lovely daughter.