How Playgrounds are Becoming a Secret Weapon in the Fight Against Climate Change

Cities across the country have begun to uproot asphalt in favor of lush, green schoolyards—or at least porous turf.

TPL (Trust for Public Land) has helped transform more than 200 schoolyards—upgrades including adding play spaces and shaded areas—in New York City over the last 30 years with financial support from various city agencies and nonprofits.

The Berkeley, California-based nonprofit Green Schoolyards America has been collaborating with schools on similar projects around the globe for over a decade.

And last year, Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) introduced the Living Schoolyards Act, a bill that would direct federal resources toward greening school grounds.

Several states, including California, Colorado, and Maryland, have introduced similar legislation or guidelines.

According to TPL, most of the 90,000 public schoolyards nationwide—spanning some two million acres—are covered in asphalt, a combination of petroleum products that creates runoff when it rains and bakes in the sun. 

Concrete and asphalt contribute to urban heat islands, increasing average daytime temperatures by as much as seven degrees in hot weather.


Green plots of land in cities do the opposite, reducing surrounding temperatures by up to seven degrees.

That can mean the difference between life and death during heat waves—which are increasing in severity and frequency as the planet heats up. 

If you want to read the complete article, click here