Looking Towards Spring: Outdoor Learning Toolkit

Last Fall, at some of our NYC Playgrounds sites, we saw schools utilizing their outdoor spaces for the classes that were able to attend in-person learning. You can read on the Trust for Public Land’s blog about one school’s experience in the Two Bridges neighborhood of Manhattan. Ms. Soong used the garden as inspiration for…

The Great (Green) Igloo Build

As you may know, our Green Schoolyards not only offer up NYC kid’s a safe place to play, they also capture hundreds of thousands of gallons of stormwater during rain events…or snow events! During playground design, students designers learn how NYC’s combined sewer system gets overwhelmed on rainy days, and how their playground helps by…

GrowNYC Spring 2021 Grant

During this challenging Winter, it’s a pleasure to look towards Spring. GrowNYC is accepting applications for their garden mini- grant program now through Feb 15th. The grant pairs your school garden with a garden supply store. The grant amount ranges from $500-$2000. This grant could free up funds that NYC Playgrounds Program offers to put…

Planting Flower Bulbs

Every Fall, we get the chance to look towards the Spring! Many of our schools request an assortment of flower bulbs through our Annual Garden Survey. In October, we pack up boxes of flower bulbs and send them out to school gardens across the five boroughs of New York City. We also help garden groups…

Art in the Garden

On of the subject areas that can easily be taken to the garden or an outdoor classroom is art! Being outside allows you to get a little messy with art projects you’d normally do be wary to do inside, but the garden can also offer up free natural materials and inspiration for art projects. Here…

Circle Time Storytelling

We’ve shared frameworks for storytelling in the classroom before, but I wanted to pass along this resource developed by Puanani Burgess for facilitating community storytelling. She offers icebreakers, poems, and philosophies to help guide conflict resolution and community building. Here’s one poem that reminded me of many of the beautiful collaborations that have led to…

Community Engagement in the time of Covid-19 (& beyond)

Hester Street, a non-profit dedicated to neighborhood development shaped by the people living in those neighborhoods, has developed a beautiful Resource Guide to Community Engagement during the time of Covid-19. Much of the guide also proved useful in creatively thinking about remotely leading student in project-based lessons. What is a classroom if not a small…

Mulch Bounty

This summer’s strong and windy storms had a wonderful silver lining in the form of a HUGE pile of FREE nutrient-rich mulch made from the chipped-up felled branches of trees in Greenwood. We’ve made trips to playgrounds all around Brooklyn and Queens with carloads of this natural treasure, but our capacity to distribute is limited….

Math in the Playground Training via Zoom

Take a look at this recorded Zoom Teacher Training with Jan Cohen of UrbanMathTrails to learn how to implement the Trust for Public Land’s  “Math in the Playground” K-5 lessons and activities in your schoolyard. Linked to curriculum standards, these activities promise to engage your students, while developing your students’ math skills as they return from remote learning. These lessons, which utilize gardens,…

Movement Challenges (w distance built in)

We’ve posted about the incredible organization The Movement Creative in the past, and we want to share some of their recently developed online resources. Just as their philosophy focuses on tuning into the natural flow of movement and adjusting to obstacles you come across, their organizational philosophy has also been excellent at adapting to social-distance…