Green schoolyard renovations in low-income urban neighborhoods: Benefits to students, schools, and the surrounding community.
Green schoolyards may buffer against the effects of urbanization through increasing access to nature and its benefits. The present study was a community-academic partnership that examined the effects of green schoolyard renovations on utilization, physical activity (PA), and social interactions as well as perceptions of safety, neighborhood climate, and social cohesion among those living in low-income, urban neighborhoods. Utilizing behavioral mapping techniques and multi-informant surveys (i.e., caregivers, teachers, and community members), changes from pre- to postrenovation were assessed at two low-income, urban schools. Behavioral mapping results demonstrated increases in utilization and prosocial interactions among youth from pre- to postrenovation. Levels of moderate-to-vigorous PA also increased from pre- to postrenovation at one school. Survey data from community stakeholders revealed improvements in the perception of schoolyard safety and school-community relationships as well as reductions in bullying postrenovation. Green schoolyards may offer a safe space for children and adults to engage in social, outdoor activities, particularly in low-income, urban neighborhoods.
American journal of community psychology
Adolescent; Adult; Child; Exercise; Humans; Poverty; Residence Characteristics; Schools; Students
behavioral mapping; green schoolyards; green space; health equity; physical activity; social interactions
Bohnert AM, Nicholson LM, Mertz L, Bates CR, Gerstein DE. Green schoolyard renovations in low-income urban neighborhoods: Benefits to students, schools, and the surrounding community. Am J Community Psychol. 2022;69(3-4):463-473. doi:10.1002/ajcp.12559