What IS a Green Playce? …Fast Facts on this exciting program Posted on March 30, 2018 by Rachel Bowers Share this post The Green Playces Initiative is Grounded Strategies’ youth-based programming and placemaking program. Our origins The Green Playces Initiative was formed out of research we conducted in 2014 that examined the prevalence of environmental education opportunities for youth in neighborhoods with high levels of vacancy, which yielded the Youth in Green report. Why Green Playces matter There is a growing body of evidence that tells us how important it is for youth to connect with their outdoor environment. Improvements in behavior, critical thinking skills, brain development, and creativity are just some of the benefits that come out of fostering an informal & formal connection with the natural world. However, not all children have access to safe, youth-friendly greenspace. Green Playces work to address that disparity by working with youth programs to create safe greenspaces on vacant and underutilized land. We also know that youth are often left out of the community placemaking process, resulting in spaces that often don’t consider the needs and desires of youth in the community. That’s why a program that puts decision-making power into the hands of youth is so critical. Green Playces works alongside youth to design, plan, and build out sites that meet the needs of the community, including youth. What we end up with are safe, youth-friendly greenspaces that youth in the community are proud to have built from the ground up. What guides us Our “Playce-Making” efforts are guided by 4 main principles: Community, Art, Play, and Sustainability. How it works We have developed a process that seeks to engage youth programs in a program that is engaging, sustainable, and results in activated outdoor spaces. Check out our process below: Where we’ve been Since launching in 2015, Green Playces has worked with youth programs and schools on 10 projects throughout Allegheny County. Click the links below to check out those projects and learn more. Green Playces: Hill District Green Playces: Hilltop Green Playces: McKeesport Green Playces: Munhall Green Playces: Northside Green Playces: Wilkinsburg Green Playces: Homewood Green Playces: Clairton Green Playces: Student Ambassadors Where we’re going We are confident that the Green Playces Initiative has a bright future, and are excited for the program to keep growing and evolving. Click on our projects below to learn more about what we have in the works (so far) for 2018. Green Playces: Possibilities Green Playces: Braddock We are always looking to expand the Green Playce network. Interested in partnering with us? Work with us! Interested in learning more? Read our latest report, Opportunities for Sustaining Grounded’s Green Playces Program.