Brooklyn Center Elementary STEAM Schoolyard
What We’re Doing
Creating a modern green space for everyone to enjoy.
Transform Minnesota schoolyards into parklike spaces, designed by the community to improve health, equity, climate, and educational outcomes.
Brooklyn Center Elementary STEAM serves Minnesota’s most diverse city, embracing a community-centered approach for each of its 848 students and surrounding neighborhood. The school is a pilot site for the Minnesota Community Schoolyards™ program, which transforms schoolyards into vibrant green spaces and social hubs that serve students and residents even after school hours. We know that when these spaces are open to surrounding neighborhoods, it helps students, families, and the community stay active and healthy by providing a quality, close-to-home place to play and gather.
The schoolyard is bordered by two major highways, where noise and air pollution affect its usability and student health. Adding trees and lush vegetation will help buffer traffic noise and filter exhaust pollution, and new outdoor learning labs and pollinator habitat gardens will allow students to expand their learning outside the classroom.
Our Community Schoolyards program is focused on community-centered design, meaning that each schoolyard is constructed with intention, creating a space that is welcoming to everyone. Students voice their input and ideas while learning to collaborate, budget, and lead their community during classroom sessions. At Brooklyn Center Elementary STEAM Schoolyard, students agreed to include a new basketball court, soccer field, and updated play equipment in the final design, as well as climate-smart features that will help address flooding concerns.
Investments in the schoolyard are investments in the community. At Brooklyn Center Elementary STEAM, these investments will help improve the health, equity, and climate outcomes for over 2,500 people who live within a 10-minute walk of this schoolyard. As we continue to work with more school districts—and generous partners like SWA Group, which provided pro bono design services for this schoolyard—across the state, Brooklyn Center Elementary STEAM Schoolyard will serve as a model for others looking to create an incredible green space for students and residents alike.
Minnesota Community Schoolyards
Explore our work at Community SchoolyardsTM projects across Minnesota
2610 University Avenue
St. Paul, MN, 55114