Portland Public schools supports the greening of our schoolyards, values green spaces as vital learning tools for students, and is working to advance the movement to create nature rich school-based experiences.
Green schoolyards provide an outdoor classroom for experiential learning, standards-based teaching, and interaction with the natural environment. Outside, students have opportunities to discover the value of observation & play, build a stronger connection to the food they eat, and grow an appreciation for the diversity of life - both human and nonhuman.
The District is motivated by significant research that showcases remarkable improvement in cognitive abilities, whole-student health, and social connection with repeated exposure to the natural world. We are committed to making sure the benefits of spaces such as this are accessible and utilized by all children in all neighborhoods throughout our school system.
There are over 65 school gardens and 11 community gardens located on PPS property, not including many native plants gardens and Schoolyard Habitat Certified schools.
Over 2,000 trees have been planted on PPS property. If you are interested in planting trees on PPS property, please review the Tree Planting Guidelines. We have fantastic partnerhips with Parks & Recreation's Learning Landscapes program as well as Friends of Trees.
As part of our efforts to green our schoolyards, we are working on removing asphalt and concrete for planting trees, stormwater management, and school gardens. Please contact our partners at Depave for more information on how to begin building a project plan.
Portland Public Schools works with many partners in to develop, construct, and maintain bioswales, cisterns, courtyard projects, downspout disconnects, eco roofs, and flow through planters. Managing stormwater is important to ensure healthy waterways for people, aquatic life, and terrestrial wildlife.
The idea behind nature play space is instead of the standard, cookie cutter metal and plastic structures that most playgrounds are made of, natural materials, landscapes, and vegetation are used to create play areas, bringing nature back into play.