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Design Elements

As you begin to envision your own schoolyard, consider these options—they represent some of the best thinking in the field in child development as well as green design.
Planters create green edge along the south facade of Southwark Elementary School

Each Collaborative schoolyard project uses a unique combination of the design elements showcased here. Your design will emerge from the needs of your community and the particulars of your school, students, and site. As part of our design process, we encourage schools to focus on how individual elements can reinforce broader goals for supporting students as well as the community. These benefits also resonate with stakeholders and potential funders and provide compelling reasons to ask for their support.

We’ve compiled a menu of more than 40 design elements from our work and divided them into seven sections, each representing a goal that promotes the health of students and/or the environment. These pages provide just a sampling of the positive outcomes that can result.



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