For the last Therapeutic Landscapes Network Blog post of 2014, we want to share an inspiring story of one of many schools that that is “greening” its schoolyard. The six gardens and overall ecoliteracy program at Cleveland Elementary School in Oakland, CA were spurred by Mary Schriner, who interviewed for a position there. When they asked her why she wanted to work at Cleveland Elementary, she responded, “Because your school looks like a prison yard, and I’d like to change that.” And she has changed both the school and grounds, and the lives of those who learn and teach there. One of the first conversations with her students began with the question, “What is a weed?” The project has been a tremendous success. Says Schriner, “I’ve had many, many moments when I’ve almost wanted to cry because I can feel the community happening, not because of me, but because of the natural world that we’re trying to create conditions for at the school. There’s been so much magic around the garden that I just have a lot of gratitude.”
December 30, 2014
September 22, 2013
Our sincere apologies for getting the word out about this conference this late. However, it’s an important one for the record, so I’m posting it anyway. If anyone is going, please report back!
Join Evergreen Brick Works and the International School Grounds Alliance for three days of inspiration and idea sharing with visionary leaders of the green school ground movement. The Nature School Conference takes place in Toronto, Ontario, September 23-25. Attendees are coming from as far away as Japan, Norway, and Australia.
Some of this year’s breakout sessions include Food and Gardens in Schools, The Need for Beneficial Risk (in school- and play yards), and Cultural Considerations in School Ground Design. The International School Grounds Alliance (ISGA) is a global network of organizations and professionals working to enrich children’s learning and play by improving the way school grounds are designed and used. Open year-round, Evergreen Brick Works is a community environmental centre that inspires visitors to live, work, and play more sustainably.
Along with plenary speakers and inspiring breakout sessions, a pre-conference tour of three local educational spaces takes place Sunday, September 22. To learn more about the conference offerings, plenary speakers, and presenters, visit the Evergreen web site. For even more information, Amal Musa, Conference Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-596-1495 ext.248.