How do I use the School Grounds for EE?

How can I use the school grounds for EE?

What steps can I take to use the school grounds for EE?

Where can I get ideas on using the school grounds for EE?

Almost every K–12 school has at least some outdoor space that faculty could use (or already uses) to breathe life into concepts learned in the classroom. Even within tight urban settings, many schools have had success using rooftops to install safe and secure play and garden areas.[1]

 Research shows that students better absorb and retain math, science, language arts and other skills that incorporate their immediate environment and use all five senses. A more recent study has linked outdoor play to stronger social skills and increased creative development.[2] These positive educational impacts are especially strong when outdoor activities are an integral part of the structured curriculum.[3] Because each school site has unique assets, a prescriptive plan for every building is not realistic. However, schools can create asset maps that include people and spaces that will build meaningful, place-based outdoor experiences for students, teachers and schools.

What steps can I take to promote the use of the school grounds for EE?


We are all part of the plan for Environmental Literacy!

We can help students learn by utilizing or promoting use of the school grounds for environmental education.  Click on the group below that best describes your role to find actions you can take.





Higher Education
  Community Organizations and Agencies


Where can I get Ideas on how to use the School Grounds for EE?

Citizen Science Opportunities for Schools

[1] Lieberman, G. & Hoody, L. (1998). Closing the Achievement Gap: Using the Environment as an Integrating Context for Learning. Results of a Nationwide Study.  Education and Environment Roundtable. Retrieved December 2010, from

[2] Miller, D., Tichota, K., & White, J. (2009). Young Children Learn Through Authentic Play in a Nature Explore Classroom. [White Paper]. Retrieved from play.pdf

[3] Wagner, C., Gordon, D. (2010). “Planning School Grounds for Outdoor Learning.” [White Paper]. Retrieved from

CAEE works to ensure everyone in Colorado has an opportunity to learn about the environment where they live. We value inclusiveness and welcome everyone to the field of environmental education.

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