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Schoolyard Resources


Transforming schoolyards involves many partners and resources. Our list of resources will help you put together the team you need. A click on any of the resources listed below leads to a short description, a link, and the step in schoolyard transformation where they can help.  

Audubon Pennsylvania
The Big Sand Box
Citizens Planning Institute
Community Design Collaborative
Delaware Valley Green Building Council
Destination Schuylkill River, Manayunk Development Corporation
Eagles Youth Partnership
Fairmount Park Conservancy
Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center
The Food Trust
The Fund for the School District of Philadelphia
Friends of Neighborhood Public Education
Grid Magazine
The Hamels Foundation
Health Promotion Council
Keep Philadelphia Beautiful
LandHealth Institute
Mt. Airy 
Next Great City
PA Department of Environmental Protection
PA Green and Healthy Schools Partnership
Partnership for the Delaware Estuary
PECO – An Excelon Company
Penn State Extension Philadelphia
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Philadelphia Crosstown Coaltion
Philadelphia Green Schools Alliance
Philadelphia Mural Arts Program
Philadelphia Orchard Project
Philadelphia Parks and Recreation
Philadelphia School Partnership
Philadelphia Student Union
Philadelphia Water Department
Public Workshop
RAIR (Recycled Artist in Residency)
School District of Philadelphia
Schuylkill Action Network, Schuylkill River Restoration Fund
Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area
Sustainable Business Network
The Trust for Public Land
U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 3
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Urban Roots

Audubon Pennsylvania | Connect the Classroom
Empowers citizen scientists with knowledge and tools to conserve and restore natural ecosystems with a focus on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats

The Big Sand Box | Organize, Find the Funding
Encourages citizens, residents, and students to participate in the planning, design, and construction of their communities, supports small-scale neighborhood efforts that can grow into larger community change. 

Citizens Planning Institute | Organize
|Educates individuals on zoning, planning, and the assessment of community assets so they can play an informed, active role in shaping their communities and build the knowledge base of their neighborhood organizations

Community Design Collaborative | Make a Conceptual Plan
Provides grants of preliminary design services to help nonprofit community organizations create conceptual plans and compelling visions for their future schoolyards

Delaware Valley Green Building Council | Implement Your Plan
Inspires, educates, and connects people around green building practices, offers tools such as a local green contractor database and links to national resources related to green schools

Destination Schuylkill River, Manayunk Development Corporation | Organize, Find the Funding
Celebrates life along the Schuylkill River and connect communities to the river through planning, programming, and projects

DIG PHILLY | Organize
Brings together diverse voices to plan and build city schoolyards that offer green infrastructure, physical activity, nutrition and gardens, and community parks for after-school hours

Eagles Youth Partnership | Find the Funding
Serves over 50,000 low income children in the Greater Philadelphia region every year with a focus on health and education programming, including its Playground Build program

Fairmount Park Conservancy | Organize
Leads and supports efforts to preserve and improve the Fairmount Park System in order to enhance the quality of life and stimulate economic development of the Greater Philadelphia region with programs like TreePhilly, Growing Greener, and Age-Friendly Parks

Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center | Connect the Classroom
Offers curriculum guides and teacher resources for connecting students in the classroom with real-world learning based on successful lessons and activities

The Food Trust | Connect the Classroom
Brings nutrition educators, youth leadership coordinators and farm-to-school specialists into schools to teach the importance of good nutrition and physical activity to children, their parents/caregivers and their teachers

The Fund for the Philadelphia School District  | Organize, Find the Funding
Identifies, coordinates and connects philanthropic resources—through effective public-private partnerships—to leverage investments in local public schools. See their Guide to Fundraising & Grantwriting for Schools, published in 2017 to help principals, teachers, parents and school communities meet unique priorities of Philadelphia public schools like schoolyard greening and healthy eating. 

Friends of Neighborhood Public Education, Philadelphia Crosstown Coalition | Organize
Brings together civic associations from across Philadelphia to enact change, includes an Education Committee to encourage community organizing and support for public schools

Grid Magazine | Organize, Steward Your Success
Covers green news in Philadelphia through a monthly magazine and the Green Philly blog

The Hamels Foundation | Find the Funding
Provides financial support for the direct costs of sustainable programs, construction projects, and educational supplies in Philadelphia, PA and other places

Health Promotion Council | Connect the Classroom, Implement Your Plan
Creates and expands edible gardens, and provides nutrition and physical activity education at schools and community sites in low-income communities in Philadelphia through its GREENS Program

KABOOM! | Find the Funding, Implement Your Plan
Provides grants to begin or complete play space projects, step-by-step instructions for projects to enhance play spaces, and a toolkit for creating a community-build play space

Keep Philadelphia Beautiful | Steward Your Success
Empowers Philadelphians of all ages care for their community environments with education, assistance with community beautification projects, and resources like the “Plan a Clean Up” guide

LandHealth Institute | Connect the Classroom, Steward Your Success
Provides integrative environmental education programming for diverse audiences, including the Program for Future Environmental Stewards and Scientists (PROFESS) and the Senior LandHealth Advocate Program

Mt. Airy USA | Organize, Find the Funding
Ensures that families have access to a high quality public education by facilitating strategic investment to support public schools through its Mt. Airy School Coalition, serving six neighborhood public schools

NetworkArts | Connect the Classroom, Implement Your Plan
Expands children's opportunities to express themselves, to explore science, the arts, and the humanities, and to create art that permanently transforms their communities

Next Great City | Implement Your Plan
Over 100 civic associations, labor unions, businesses, public health organizations, environmental nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and social service groups dedicated to creating a positive future for Philadelphia by advocating for common sense, cost-effective policies that enhance environmental quality, strengthen neighborhoods and increase economic competitiveness

PA Department of Environmental Protection | Find the Funding
Funds recreation, park and conservation acquisition, development, education and technical assistance for the purpose of clean water and sound land use, land reclamation, natural resource conservation and community recreation through Growing Greener grants

PA Green and Healthy Schools Partnership | Organize
A network of non-profits, governmental agencies, and others who are committed to ensuring that all schools are healthy, environmentally friendly and cost efficient places of learning, provides access to great local models and links to practical advice like a guide to maintenance planning for school gardens

Partnership for the Delaware Estuary | Find the Funding
Helps corporate and community members in the Delaware Estuary take a leadership role in preserving their communities’ environmental well-being by combining technical assistance from the Partnership with corporate funds and manpower through the Corporate and Community Environmental Stewardship Program

PECO – An Excelon Company | Find the Funding
Green Region grants provide support to improve the quality of the environment through education, conservation, preservation and protection

Penn State Extension PhiladelphiaConnect to the Classroom, Implement Your Plan, Steward Your Success
Practical agriculture education to help people, businesses, and communities solve problems, develop skills, and build a better future. Philadelphia programming focuses on urban agriculture and youth engagement.

Pennsylvania Horticultural Society | Connect to the Classroom, Implement Your Plan
Provides Philadelphia educators with the skills to integrate horticultural and environmental education into curricula, after-school programs, and service-learning projects through the Green City Teachers program

PHENND | Connect the Classroom
Strengthens service-learning, civic engagement, and community partnerships in Philadelphia by connecting academics with community involvement

Philadelphia Crosstown Coalition, Friends of Neighborhood Public Education | Organize
Brings together civic associations from across Philadelphia to enact change, includes an Education Committee to encourage community organizing and support for public schools

Philadelphia Green Schools Alliance | Organize, Find the Funding, Implement Your Plan
Promotes a partnership of schools and community organizations working together to transform Philadelphia schoolyards into versatile facilities for school and community use, coordinating with the Philadelphia Water Department’s efforts to green schoolyards through its Green City Clean Waters Program

Philadelphia Mural Arts Program | Connect the Classroom, Implement Your Plan
Integrates the activities of city agencies, community organizations, and residents to collectively transform schools, recreation centers, and commercial corridors into models for sustainable revitalization through its Restored Places program

Philadelphia Orchard Project | Implement Your Plan
Plants and supports community orchards in the city of Philadelphia by working with community-based groups and volunteers to plan and plant orchards filled with useful and edible plants. POP provides the plants, trees, and training 

Philadelphia Parks and Recreation | Organize, Find the Funding
Works with communities to ensure that everyone has parks, gardens, playgrounds, trails, and other natural places within a ten-minute walk from home in partnership with The Trust for Public Land through its Parks for People program, provides funding and technical assistance to improve parks and schoolyards in Philadelphia

Philadelphia School Partnership | Organize
Raises philanthropic funds to invest in the startup, expansion and turnaround of public and private schools, and works to create the conditions for great schools to thrive

Philadelphia Student Union | Organize
Runs citywide campaigns that bring together students from all of our chapters and additional schools to improve school district policies and practices

Philadelphia Water Department | Find the Funding, Implement Your Plan, Steward Your Success
Offers stormwater management models and standards through publications like the Green Streets Design Manual and offers significant leverage for schoolyard greening projects through its Stormwater Management Incentives Program (SMIP) grants and serves as a countrywide model that can place a national spotlight on the role of schoolyards in managing stormwater

Playworks | Connect the Classroom
Creates options for children to engage in healthy, inclusive play through full-time play coaches at low-income elementary schools, hands-on professional development workshops, and collaborative consultations.

Public Workshop | Connect the Classroom, Implement Your Plan
A cheerleader of possibility, Public Workshop creates uniquely engaging opportunities for youth and their communities to shape the design of their cities

RAIR (Recycled Artist in Residency) | Connect the Classroom
Creates awareness about sustainability issues through art and design through an artist residency program, education and awareness, material sourcing, and exhibitions

School District of Philadelphia | Organize, Find the Funding, Implement Your Plan
Materials, labor, and coordination of capital improvements to support schoolyard greening projects, special initiatives to support recycling and other green school efforts by students, teachers, and administrators

Schuylkill Action Network, Schuylkill River Restoration Fund | Find the Funding
Provides grants for on-the-ground projects that improve the water resources of the Schuylkill River in partnership with a group of organizations and agencies dedicated to the protection and improvement of the Schuylkill River, in cooperation with Exelon and the Schuylkill River Heritage Area

Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education | Connect the Classroom
Inspires meaningful connections between people and nature, using its forests and fields as a living laboratory to foster appreciation, deepen understanding, and encourage stewardship of the environment

Schuylkill River National and State Heritage Area | Organize, Connect the Classroom
Uses conservation, education, recreation, historic and cultural preservation and tourism as tools for community revitalization and economic development

Sustainable Business Network | Implement Your Plan
Manages Green Stormwater Infrastructure Partners, a network of green stormwater infrastructure engineering, landscape architecture, landscape design, contractors, and maintenance firms and product and materials suppliers, resource for finding qualified businesses to contract with to meet stormwater regulations

TreeVitalize | Implement Your Plan
Helps restore tree cover, educate citizens about planting trees as an act of caring for our environment, and build capacity among local governments to understand, protect and restore their urban trees

The Trust for Public Land | Organize, Find the Funding, Implement Your Plan
Works with communities to ensure that everyone has parks, gardens, playgrounds, trails, and other natural places within a ten-minute walk from home in partnership with Philadelphia Parks and Recreation through its Parks for People program, provides funding and technical assistance to improve parks and schoolyards in Philadelphia

U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools | Steward Your Success
Recognizes schools, districts, and institutions of higher education that reduce environmental impact and costs; improve the health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and provide environmental education

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 3 | Steward Your Success
Protects human health and the environment in the Mid-Atlantic states by enforcing regulations, giving grants, sponsoring partnerships, teaching people about the environment, and publishing information

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Organize
Offers resources on green infrastructure, such as new guidebook to help communities better manage stormwater and webcast series

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service | Find the Funding
Preserves habitat and educates citizens about birds in an urban environment through its Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds, a grant and outreach program designed to address a sometimes overlooked area of bird conservation

Urban Roots | Organize, Implement Your Plan
Revitalizes Philadelphia's communities by building and enhancing urban redevelopment projects, with an emphasis on youth mentoring, healthy living and fine art

Looking for resources to help with other community design and development efforts? Visit the Community Design Collaborative's list of Predevelopment Resources




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