Green Schoolyard Transformation in Boston

Between 1995 and 2013, the Boston Schoolyard Initiative (BSI) transformed Boston's schoolyards from barren asphalt lots into dynamic centers for recreation, learning and community life. School-by-school, neighborhood-by-neighborhood, BSI reached children, families, community members and teachers with vibrant outdoor spaces for increased physical activity and creative new approaches to using the schoolyard for teaching and learning.  We accomplished our work through a public-private partnership between the City of Boston, Boston Public Schools and the Boston Schoolyard Funders Collaborative.


  • 88 schoolyards revitalized
  • 30,000 school children reached
  • 130 acres of asphalt reclaimed

Principals report that BSI schoolyards lead to increased physical activity (100%); improved student behavior (63.2%) and improved relationships with parents and community (73.7%).*

New outdoor classroom designs bring teaching outdoors and nature to the schoolyard. Green practices, including green roofs on tool shed and recycled rubber surfaces are now often a part of schoolyard design and construction. And BSI teaching resources and professional development help teachers revitalize instruction and motivate students to learn. BSI-designed Science in the Schoolyard and Outdoor Writers Workshop training reach teachers and whole faculties, creating teams of teachers within schools and across the district who incorporate the schoolyard into teaching and learning.