Asphalt to Ecosystems: Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation
Asphalt to Ecosystems is a compelling color guidebook for designing and building natural schoolyard environments that enhance childhood learning and play experiences while providing connection with the natural world. Intended for parents, teachers, school administrators, designers, environmentalists, and community volunteers, this book is a fantastic resource that will inspire readers to transform their own school grounds.
With this book, Danks broadens our notion of what a well-designed schoolyard should be, taking readers on a journey from traditional, ordinary grassy fields and asphalt, to explore the vibrant and growing movement to "green" school grounds in the United States and around the world. This book documents exciting green schoolyard examples from almost 150 schools in 11 countries, illustrating that a great many things are possible on school grounds when they are envisioned as outdoor classrooms for hands-on learning and play. The book's 500 vivid, color photographs showcase some of the world's most innovative green schoolyards including: edible gardens with fruit trees, vegetables, chickens, honey bees, and outdoor cooking facilities; wildlife habitats with prairie grasses and ponds, or forest and desert ecosystems; schoolyard watershed models, rainwater catchment systems and waste-water treatment wetlands; renewable energy systems that power landscape features, or the whole school; waste-as-a-resource projects that give new life to old materials in beautiful ways; K-12 curriculum connections for a wide range of disciplines from science and math to art and social studies; creative play opportunities that diversify school ground recreational options and encourage children to run, hop, skip, jump, balance, slide, and twirl, as well as explore the natural world first hand.
Great insights, beautiful photography and philosophy
By Sarah W. Stocker - May 19, 2011
This is a gorgeous book, with wonderful practical and inspirational advice for making our children's play environments sustainable and nourishing on every level. It's packed with thoughtful guidance and ideas for ways to enrich children's learning and experience through nature - just outside the window. A must have for every school and community, and for every teacher who looks for ways to open the horizons of their classroom.
A fine guidebook for designing and building ecologically diverse schoolyards
By Midwest Book Review - December 4, 2010
Asphalt to Ecosystems: Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation provides a fine guidebook for designing and building ecologically diverse schoolyards, then blending nature activities into the areas for K-12. Over 500 color photos packs an illustrated guide for transforming traditional asphalt playgrounds into edible gardens, wildlife habitats and more, using examples from over 150 schools in 11 countries with varying climates. An inspirational, absorbing, unique read for any contemplating the transformation of either an entire schoolyard or a section of ground.
Plenty of ideas
By D. Robertson-christman "New Roads" - January 8, 2011
Great job documenting a good number of effective looking playgrounds. This is a nice book for the lay person who wishes that their school site was more than turf and asphalt. There are many photos, a strong thesis, and some implementation ideas. I can see the influence of The Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv, The Inclusive City by the firm M.I.G. and, of course Clare Cooper Marcus' many years of work studying healing gardens. My only argument with this book is that after teaching for 35 years and also having earned a certificate in landscape architecture from the author's university, I would have liked to see more curriculum tie-ins to entice teachers to use the space on a regular basis. If a space is not well-used, it is more difficult to get people to take care of it (as volunteers), teachers are swamped with demands on their time, and we all know that schools can't afford enough garden and playground stewards. Furthermore, in the state of California (and... read more
Diane Hodges, a former human resources director and school administrator, shares numerous staff appreciation and recognition activities that can be implemented to promote a positive environment and ...