Green Playces Initiative

Green Playces are hives of education, innovation, creativity, science and, most importantly, play. These youth-created greenspaces are implemented on vacant or under-utilized land and provide opportunities for outdoor STEAM learning for youth in some of our most distressed communities.

The Green Playces Initiative champions youth voices in every step of the placemaking process. From designing and planning with landscape architects, to learning construction and teamwork skills while building Green Playce sites, to stewarding sites for years to come, our unique curriculum creates opportunity for youth to learn valuable skills for implementing positive change in their communities.


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History of the Green Playces Initiative

In 2014, Grounded (published as GTECH) released the Youth in Green report, which explored the trends in environmental education and vacant land in Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Two important conclusions came out of this:

  1. First, we learned that communities with the most amount of vacant, blighted land have little-to-no environmentally-focused youth educational activities.
  2. Second, green space in close proximity to existing youth facilities is important. The absence of it perpetuates a deep disconnect between youth and their physical environment.

Using these conclusions, Grounded designed the Green Playces Initiative to take action against blight, connect young people to local green spaces, and use those spaces as a platform for environmental education.

Our process

Grounded approaches the creation of new Green Playce sites by following a unique placemaking model, called Green Playce-Making. This model prioritizes four different factors that determine the process by which each site is designed, planned, built, and maintained:


Interested in bringing Green Playces to your school, organization, or community? Click the link below!

Partner with Green Playces!