Georgia Community Schoolyards® Projects


What We’re Doing
Transforming existing schoolyards into safe, inspiring, green spaces that will support outdoor learning and nature play during the school day and be open to the public outside of school hours.

Our Goal
Close Georgia’s outdoor equity gap by making outdoor space more accessible to residents, especially children.

Georgia Schoolyards by the Numbers
Schoolyards completed
Schoolyards underway
There’s More to School than Grades and Test Scores

Spending time in natural areas helps lessen anxiety and depression, increase feelings of tranquility, and strengthen concentration. Children with regular doses of nature have improved emotional resilience, test scores, and cognitive health. Parks offer kids and families so many benefits, including a safe, fun place to spend their free time. While public schools operate on some of the most spacious and green land in Georgia cities, most are only open when school is in session, so kids’ opportunities to enjoy these schoolyards is limited. Additionally, nearly a quarter of residents of Metro Atlanta don’t live within a 10-minute walk of a park. That’s why our Community Schoolyards® Projects are so important.

Trust For Public Land is working alongside teachers, students, and other community members to improve schoolyard campuses, making them more inviting to the general public. The main idea: turn schoolyards into quality play and learning spaces for kids during school hours and a green oasis for community members outside of school hours, rather just someplace students just go for recess. At Kimberly Elementary, J. W. Dobbs Elementary, L. P. Miles Elementary, and Sarah Smith Elementary, kids are already enjoying these improved schoolyards. And we’re just getting started. Construction is underway at several other locations, while designs are in progress for many more down the line. Already, people are seeing the difference these schoolyards can make in kids’ lives, and how those differences can echo across communities. Best of all, this program creates a model for what’s possible in other cities across the nation.

Park Bench Chat
Community Schoolyards™ Projects: A common-sense solution for students and America’s Park Equity Gap

Trust for Public Land volunteer leader Jocelyn Dorsey hosted a Park Bench Chat with Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell, Tull Charitable Foundation Executive Director Gabrielle Kreisler Sheely, and Trust for Public Land’s Schoolyards Initiative Director Danielle Denk to discuss how Community Schoolyards® projects are transforming underused outdoor school spaces into vibrant public parks—full of trees, shade, and places to exercise, play, and learn. They also explored how this solution to solve America’s park equity divide can be scaled nationwide through public, nongovernmental organization, and philanthropic partnerships.

Explore Our Georgia Schoolyards

Community Schoolyards®️ projects are game-changing. They transform our nation’s asphalt schoolyards into vibrant, green spaces that improve the daily lives of students, educators, and the surrounding community. We envision a future where these schoolyards become a standard practice across the state, serving as a hub for community empowerment, improved health and education, and climate resiliency.

Map Legend
A group of people jumping in the air in front of a building.
Special Report
Atlanta Community Schoolyards Report

Nearly three out of four Atlanta residents have access to nature within a 10-minute walk of home. But what about the one in four who don’t? The solution to our park equity gap and a tool for community resilience to climate change is sitting in plain sight: community schoolyards.

Atlanta Public Schools is one of the city’s largest landowners, with almost 90 schools and over 50,000 students. By transforming schoolyards into vibrant, nature-rich parks, we can improve education, health, equity, and climate outcomes for students, families, and neighbors in the communities that need it most. 

About This Project
  • Community Schoolyards™ Program: A Game-Changing Solution to America’s Park Equity Problem

    Of the 90,000 public schools in the country, only a fraction have schoolyards that are green and inviting, as well as open to the public after school, on weekends, and over the summer. Most are overheated, vacant, and uninspired. Trust for Public Land believes that transforming America’s schoolyards into shared public parks by 2030 is a common-sense, cost-effective solution to America’s park equity problem.

    Read the Report

    Trust for public land community schoolyards projects.
Contact Our Georgia Team
Atlanta Office

600 West Peachtree St. NW
Suite 1840
Atlanta, GA, 30308
(404) 873-7306

Vice President Southern Region, Georgia State Director