Asphalt to ecosystems : design ideas for schoolyard transformation /
Sharon Gamson Danks.
imprint
Oakland, CA : New Village Press, 2010.
description
xi, 276 p. : col. ill. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0976605481 (Paper), 9780976605485 (Paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Oakland, CA : New Village Press, 2010.
isbn
0976605481 (Paper)
9780976605485 (Paper)
abstract
"Case studies from North America, Scandinavia, Great Britain, and Japan demonstrate natural outdoor learning and play environments that support hands-on interdisciplinary lessons and expand the possibilities for schoolyard recreation, while nurturing healthy imagination and socialization"--Provided by publisher.
catalogue key
7779958
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 254-256) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
Sharon Gamson Danks is an environmental planner and founding partner of Bay Tree Design in Berkeley, California. As a researcher, writer, and hands-on designer and planner, she has visited and documented over 200 green schoolyard and park projects in North America, Europe, Great Britain, and Japan and has helped over three dozen schools transform their grounds into vibrant ecosystems for learning and play. An inspiring palette of school grounds possibilities for parents, teachers, students, designers, planners, and school administrators. Author Sharon Danks broadens our notion of what a well-designed schoolyard should be, taking readers on a journey from traditional, ordinary grassy fields and asphalt to explore what's being created in the growing movement toward "green" schoolgrounds in the United States and around the world. This book documents exciting examples from more than 150 schools in 11 countries, illustrating a vast range of possibilities in outdoor classrooms for learning and play. More than 500 vivid color photographs showcase some of the world's most innovative green schoolyards including: edible gardens with fruit trees, vegetables, chickens, honeybees, and outdoor cooking facilities; wildlife habitats with prairie grasses and ponds, or forest and desert ecosystems; schoolyard watershed models, rainwater catchment systems, and waste-water treatment models,; renewable energy systems that power landscape features or the whole school; waste-as-a-resource projects that give new life to old materials in beautiful ways; K-12 curriculum connections for a wide range of disciplines from science and math to art and social studies; creative play opportunities that diversify school ground recreational options and encourage children to explore the natural world firsthand. The book grounds these examples in a practical framework that illustrates simple landscape design choices all schools can use to make their schoolyards more comfortable, enjoyable, and sustainable. And it describes a participatory design process that schools can use to engage their communities in transforming asphalt to ecosystems.
Reviews
Review Quotes
Press Reviews "I have often seen children''s sense of wonder awaken as they find life teeming in a handful of soil or nurture a seed into a healthy plant to be harvested and enjoyed in a delicious meal with their classmates. Sharon Danks' Asphalt to Ecosystems is a wonderful introduction to the design ideas that can transform a traditional schoolyard into a place where such vital learning can occur, under the wise and skillful guidance of the growing movement of educators dedicated to education for sustainable living." -- Zenobia Barlow , Cofounder and Executive Director, The Center for Ecoliteracy "Asphalt to Ecosystems reflects the author's passion for the topic and presents more than a decade of innovative practice interwoven with extensive international field investigation. The carefully crafted text, profusely illustrated with closely observed examples, convincingly demonstrates how ecologically rich environments can serve the triumvirate of children's play, learning, and education--and the good health of both children and planet. This inspiring book brings together and builds on the work of long time pioneers who share author Sharon Danks' vision. Those pursuing the same mission are offered an exceptionally valuable tool and a new benchmark of design for educating a new eco-literate generation." -- Robin Moore , MCP, Director, The Natural Learning Initiative, North Carolina State University. Co-author, Natural Learning: The Life History of an Environmental Schoolyard "Danks' book exemplifies planning''s comprehensive approach to design and community engagement. She demonstrates that sustainability goes well beyond green technologies--encompassing the patterns of place and envisioning schools and schoolyards as centers of community." -- Jeffrey L. Soule , FAICP, Director of Outreach and International Programs, American Planning Association "This is a beautiful book, loaded with compassion for children and deep understanding of the learning process. It is not just a primer on ecological landscaping in the curriculum, but a blueprint for a greener and smarter curriculum." -- David W. Orr , Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, Oberlin College, author, Ecological Literacy and Hope Is an Imperative "A groundbreaking and informative book with examples from around the world that will inspire others to create green engaging environments for their children. To educate the next generation of earth stewards we need to immerse them in settings where an ecological viewpoint becomes second nature. Sharon Danks shows us the way." -- Clare Cooper Marcus , Professor Emerita, Departments of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of California, Berkeley. Co-author, Healing Gardens "Danks encourages teachers to take their students on field trips to their own schoolyards." -- Amanda Marrazzo , Chicago Tribune "...it's a delightful book; meticulously researched, beautifully illustrated with full-colour photographs, combining persuasive arguments for change with a clear, accessible, writing style.... We would recommend this book to any school - primary and secondary - or PTA with an interest in taking learning outdoors, becoming ‘greener' or providing richer play experiences. It's also an invaluable text for designers and planners, offering guidance on materials, planting and sustainability, based on real-life, successful examples in a wide range of different school contexts." -- Julie Mountain , Operations Director of Learning Through Landscapes "Wow! I wish this book had been around years ago when I first got involved with my local school''s outdoor classroom... It gives guidelines for building everything from wildlife sanctuaries and edible gardens to sustainable energy and water systems, and offers ideas for encouraging creative play and connecting curriculum. Great photos illustrate how children interact with the natural world, art and academics in the outdoor classroom. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to transform -- or continue transforming -- their schoolyard, park or outdoor community space. It will cause you to look at your children''s or student''s play space with brand new eyes... and that''s a very good thing. Every school administrator and park official should have a copy of this inspiring manual on her desk." -- Anna Nagro , Founder of GardenABCs "Parents, teachers, school administrators, and community planners will all find this book both helpful and revealing; children will find the results magical." -- Marlene Y. Satter , Foreword Reviews "Asphalt to Ecosystems does a great job targeting its audience: teachers, students, and community activists. It is heavy on practical advice and detailed examples while being light on theory. Danks recognizes that some of the greatest challenges to such innovative playgrounds are liability legislation and a general fear of the unknown. Therefore, this book lays out a framework for change and supplements it with ample global examples. It is as much a call-to-action as an expose of works, and most definitely a wonderful addition to any elementary school library." -- Kevin J. Zhang , Re:place Magazine "As I was reading this book I realized I wanted to buy boxes of it and send copies off to all officials involved in education at the national and state level--it is that good." -- Deborah Dalton , Landscape Architecture Magazine "The book could have shown a great idea possible only in a perfect world, but beautiful photography, lists of resources, and a chapter on infrastructure combine to make the reader want to organize action teams and hold fundraisers. This book is an inspirational handbook for everyone: landscape architect, PTO representative, teacher, parent. I finished the book feeling like I had the answer for the phenomenon Richard Louv's identified as Nature Deficit Disorder. It will inspire anyone with vision who also believes that our future relies on reconnecting our children to our planet and plugging them into the natural world around them." -- Trevor Smith , Ecological Landscape Association "Hands down, this is absolutely the most comprehensive book about greening schoolyards that I have seen, and I've seen most of them. The author's work involves photos from unbelievable green spaces from 11 countries around the world and spans a decade of research. If you have an inkling of desire to do some greening projects in a schoolyard or are looking for inspiration for yourself or others, this book provides all the information you need, along with saving you time and money. It is loaded with gorgeous photos of students working and learning outdoors in spaces that are now teeming with life but were once barren asphalt." -- Erica Beck Spencer , FOSS Newsletter "The book is filled with examples that show that many things are possible on school sites, and supports that idea with approximately 500 colorful photographs from roughly 150 schools in 11 countries." -- Sustainable Communities Online "Who ever thought that schoolyards could be so much fun and enriching for everyone in the community? All it takes is ongoing community support and involvement at every stage of site-specific planning, funding, construction and maintenance. "Asphalt to Ecosystems: Design Ideas for Schoolyard Transformation" is more than an idea book; it will help inspire and guide
Reviews "I have often seen children''s sense of wonder awaken as they find life teeming in a handful of soil or nurture a seed into a healthy plant to be harvested and enjoyed in a delicious meal with their classmates. Sharon Danks' Asphalt to Ecosystems is a wonderful introduction to the design ideas that can transform a traditional schoolyard into a place where such vital learning can occur, under the wise and skillful guidance of the growing movement of educators dedicated to education for sustainable living." -- Zenobia Barlow , Cofounder and Executive Director, The Center for Ecoliteracy "Asphalt to Ecosystems reflects the author's passion for the topic and presents more than a decade of innovative practice interwoven with extensive international field investigation. The carefully crafted text, profusely illustrated with closely observed examples, convincingly demonstrates how ecologically rich environments can serve the triumvirate of children's play, learning, and education--and the good health of both children and planet. This inspiring book brings together and builds on the work of long time pioneers who share author Sharon Danks' vision. Those pursuing the same mission are offered an exceptionally valuable tool and a new benchmark of design for educating a new eco-literate generation." -- Robin Moore , MCP, Director, The Natural Learning Initiative, North Carolina State University. Co-author, Natural Learning: The Life History of an Environmental Schoolyard "Danks' book exemplifies planning''s comprehensive approach to design and community engagement. She demonstrates that sustainability goes well beyond green technologies--encompassing the patterns of place and envisioning schools and schoolyards as centers of community." -- Jeffrey L. Soule , FAICP, Director of Outreach and International Programs, American Planning Association "This is a beautiful book, loaded with compassion for children and deep understanding of the learning process. It is not just a primer on ecological landscaping in the curriculum, but a blueprint for a greener and smarter curriculum." -- David W. Orr , Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, Oberlin College, author, Ecological Literacy and Hope Is an Imperative "A groundbreaking and informative book with examples from around the world that will inspire others to create green engaging environments for their children. To educate the next generation of earth stewards we need to immerse them in settings where an ecological viewpoint becomes second nature. Sharon Danks shows us the way." -- Clare Cooper Marcus , Professor Emerita, Departments of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of California, Berkeley. Co-author, Healing Gardens "Danks encourages teachers to take their students on field trips to their own schoolyards..." -- Amanda Marrazzo , Chicago Tribune "Parents, teachers, school administrators, and community planners will all find this book both helpful and revealing; children will find the results magical." -- Marlene Y. Satter , Foreword Reviews "...it's a delightful book; meticulously researched, beautifully illustrated with full-colour photographs, combining persuasive arguments for change with a clear, accessible, writing style.... We would recommend this book to any school - primary and secondary - or PTA with an interest in taking learning outdoors, becoming ‘greener' or providing richer play experiences. It's also an invaluable text for designers and planners, offering guidance on materials, planting and sustainability, based on real-life, successful examples in a wide range of different school contexts." -- Julie Mountain , Operations Director of Learning Through Landscapes "Who ever thought that schoolyards could be so much fun and enriching for everyone in the community? ... A handbook for change, this book is a treasure trove of exciting ideas for weaving teaching resources into schoolyard design and practical planning considerations." -- Jeanna Santangelo , Marinscope Community Newspapers "Wow! I wish this book had been around years ago when I first got involved with my local school''s outdoor classroom... It gives guidelines for building everything from wildlife sanctuaries and edible gardens to sustainable energy and water systems, and offers ideas for encouraging creative play and connecting curriculum. Great photos illustrate how children interact with the natural world, art and academics in the outdoor classroom. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to transform -- or continue transforming -- their schoolyard, park or outdoor community space. It will cause you to look at your children''s or student''s play space with brand new eyes... and that''s a very good thing. Every school administrator and park official should have a copy of this inspiring manual on her desk." -- Anna Nagro , Founder of GardenABCs
This item was reviewed in:
ForeWord Magazine, October 2010
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Summaries
Back Cover Copy
The most comprehensive guide to designing and building creative, ecological schoolyards ever published! asphalt2ecosystems.org newvillagepress.net " Asphalt to Ecosystems ... convincingly demonstrates how ecologically rich environments can serve the triumvirate of children's play, learning, and education--and the good health of both children and planet. This inspiring book brings together and builds on the work of long time pioneers who share author Sharon Danks' vision. Those pursuing the same mission are offered an exceptionally valuable tool and a new benchmark of design for educating a new eco-literate generation." -- Robin Moore , MCP, Director, The Natural Learning Initiative, North Carolina State University. Co-author, Natural Learning: The Life History of an Environmental Schoolyard "This is a beautiful book, loaded with compassion for children and deep understanding of the learning process. It is not just a primer on ecological landscaping in the curriculum, but a blueprint for a greener and smarter curriculum." -- David W. Orr , Paul Sears Distinguished Professor of Environmental Studies and Politics, Oberlin College, author, Ecological Literacy and Hope Is an Imperative "I have often seen children's sense of wonder awaken as they find life teeming in a handful of soil or nurture a seed into a healthy plant to be harvested and enjoyed in a delicious meal with their classmates. Asphalt to Ecosystems is a wonderful introduction to the design ideas that can transform a traditional schoolyard into a place where such vital learning can occur, under the wise and skillful guidance of the growing movement of educators dedicated to education for sustainable living." -- Zenobia Barlow , Cofounder and Executive Director, The Center for Ecoliteracy "A groundbreaking and informative book with examples from around the world that will inspire others to create green engaging environments for their children. To educate the next generation of earth stewards we need to immerse them in setting where an ecological viewpoint becomes second nature. Sharon Danks shows us the way." -- Clare Cooper Marcus , Professor Emerita, Departments of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of California, Berkeley. Co-author, Healing Gardens "Danks' book exemplifies planning's comprehensive approach to design and community engagement. She demonstrates that sustainability goes well beyond green technologies--encompassing the patterns of place and envisioning schools and schoolyards as centers of community." -- Jeffrey L. Soule , FAICP, Director of Outreach and International Programs, American Planning Association
Main Description
A practical palette for visualizing, designing, and building innovative green schoolyard environments.
Main Description
'Asphalt to Ecosystems' is a compelling color guidebook for designing and building natural schoolyard environments that enhance childhood learning and play experiences while providing connection with the natural world. Intended for parents, teachers, school administrators, designers, environmentalists, and community volunteers, this book is a fantastic resource that will inspire readers to transform their own school grounds.With this book, Danks broadens our notion of what a well-designed schoolyard should be, taking readers on a journey from traditional, ordinary grassy fields and asphalt, to explore the vibrant and growing movement to "green" school grounds in the United States and around the world. This book documents exciting green schoolyard examples from almost 150 schools in 11 countries, illustrating that a great many things are possible on school grounds when they are envisioned as outdoor classrooms for hands-on learning and play. The book's 500 vivid, color photographs showcase some of the world's most innovative green schoolyards including: edible gardens with fruit trees, vegetables, chickens, honey bees, and outdoor cooking facilities; wildlife habitats with prairie grasses and ponds, or forest and desert ecosystems; schoolyard watershed models, rainwater catchment systems and waste-water treatment wetlands; renewable energy systems that power landscape features, or the whole school; waste-as-a-resource projects that give new life to old materials in beautiful ways; K-12 curriculum connections for a wide range of disciplines from science and math to art and social studies; creative play opportunities that diversify school ground recreational options and encourage children to run, hop, skip, jump, balance, slide, and twirl, as well as explore the natural world first hand.
Main Description
Asphalt to Ecosystems is a compelling color guidebook for designing and building natural schoolyard environments that enhance childhood learning and play experiences while providing connection with the natural world. Intended for parents, teachers, school administrators, designers, environmentalists, and community volunteers, this book is a fantastic resource that will inspire readers to transform their own school grounds. With this book, Danks broadens our notion of what a well-designed schoolyard should be, taking readers on a journey from traditional, ordinary grassy fields and asphalt, to explore the vibrant and growing movement to "green" school grounds in the United States and around the world. This book documents exciting green schoolyard examples from almost 150 schools in 11 countries, illustrating that a great many things are possible on school grounds when they are envisioned as outdoor classrooms for hands-on learning and play. The book's 500 vivid, color photographs showcase some of the world's most innovative green schoolyards including: edible gardens with fruit trees, vegetables, chickens, honey bees, and outdoor cooking facilities; wildlife habitats with prairie grasses and ponds, or forest and desert ecosystems; schoolyard watershed models, rainwater catchment systems and waste-water treatment wetlands; renewable energy systems that power landscape features, or the whole school; waste-as-a-resource projects that give new life to old materials in beautiful ways; K-12 curriculum connections for a wide range of disciplines from science and math to art and social studies; creative play opportunities that diversify school ground recreational options and encourage children to run, hop, skip, jump, balance, slide, and twirl, as well as explore the natural world first hand.
Main Description
Asphalt to Ecosystems is a compelling color guidebook for designing and building natural schoolyard environments that enhance childhood learning and play experiences while providing connection with the natural world. Intended for parents, teachers, school administrators, designers, environmentalists, and community volunteers, this book is a fantastic resource that will inspire readers to transform their own school grounds. With this book, Danks broadens our notion of what a well-designed schoolyard should be, taking readers on a journey from traditional, ordinary grassy fields and asphalt, to explore the vibrant and growing movement to "green" school grounds in the United States and around the world. This book documents exciting green schoolyard examples from almost 150 schools in 11 countries, illustrating that a great many things are possible on school grounds when they are envisioned as outdoor classrooms for hands-on learning and play. The book's 500 vivid, color photographs showcase some of the world's most innovative green schoolyards including: edible gardens with fruit trees, vegetables, chickens, honey bees, and outdoor cooking facilities; wildlife habitats with prairie grasses and ponds, or forest and desert ecosystems; schoolyard watershed models, rainwater catchment systems and waste-water treatment wetlands; renewable energy systems that power landscape features, or the whole school; waste-as-a-resource projects that give new life to old materials in beautiful ways; K-12 curriculum connections for a wide range of disciplines from science and math to art and social studies; creative play opportunities that diversify school ground recreational options and encourage children to run, hop, skip, jump, balance, slide, and twirl, as well as explore the natural world first hand. The book grounds these examples in a practical framework that illustrates simple landscape design choices that all schools can use to make their schoolyards more comfortable, enjoyable and beautiful, and describes a participatory design process that schools can use to engage
Main Description
Children today experience most of their academic training indoors and spend their outdoor playtime on paved surfaces with chain-link fences. This comprehensively illustrated guide shows proven methods for converting barren school grounds into learning and play spaces that are beautiful, vibrant, and alive.Case studies from North America, Scandinavia, and Great Britain demonstrate natural outdoor teaching environments that support hands-on learning in science, math, language, and art, in ways that nurture healthy imagination and socialization. With this book, schools, teachers, parents, and students will be able to envision exciting ecological learning environments and learn how to make them a reality.

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