D.C. Schoolyard Greening Program

A Good Idea


The D.C. Schoolyard Greening program aims to create more green space on the schoolyards of D.C. schools. Trees and vegetation create an outdoor learning landscape for students and provide a clean and safe environment for learning, playing, and reflection. Green schoolyards are a place of outdoor learning, and as such, the program includes teaching and learning standards and curriculum for both teachers and students. The program supports various greening projects including tree planting, gardening, composting, rain gardens, and greenroofs. The program collaborates with schools to assist in the schoolyard greening process, utilizing design principles and materials that positively impact the urban ecosystem and its local watershed. In addition, the Schoolyard Greening program is actively involved in documenting and evaluating the schoolyard greening process in order to demonstrate the value of outdoor learning spaces and to influence their inclusion in city master planning.

Goal / Mission

The goal of the D.C. Schoolyard Greening program is to increase and improve schoolyard green spaces in order to promote ecological literacy and environmental stewardship among students, teachers, parents and the community.

Results / Accomplishments

Since its inception in 2003, the D.C. Schoolyard Greening program has worked with over 50 local elementary, middle, and high schools to create green schoolyards. In the past year, the program has expanded its national network and boasts a listserv of 194 members.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Lee Cain
c/o Anacostia Watershed Society
4302 Baltimore Ave.
Bladensburg, MD 20710
Environment / Built Environment
Education / School Environment
D.C. Schoolyard Greening
DC Environmental Education Consortium
Date of implementation
Target Audience
Children, Teens