We asked a bunch of 3rd graders….

…what they would do with a greenplayce.

Part of what makes our Green Playces program so neat is our community driven design process. So we asked a class of third graders from McKeesport what they would like out of a greenplayce. We weren’t really sure what we would get back.

The results were pretty tremendous. We got letters from each student, and pictures from some. They described classes they would like to have outside, opportunities for education outside the classroom and extracurricular activities they could participate in utilizing the greenspace.


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Some of their ideas were spot on.

“It gives kids and teachers a good opportunity to experience the life of nature and a very good place to experiment”


“Kids can interact with the outdoors more often and fill their brains with education and not just video games.”

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“We can go outside and interact with the outdoors instead of the indoors”


They even thought through things like maintenance and who would care for the site.

“Another idea is to grow a food garden or a flower garden. Our after school program would be able to help maintain this”

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Some of their ideas were very original…

“Some other ideas that I think would be good for this greenspace at our school are: having a very big tiger and the inside of its mouth is a cave that we can learn in about wild animals and get a fish pond with a blue crystal bridge over it”


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“I also think there should be a tiger with a cave so we can go in there and read”

They liked the idea of having class outside…

“If I could choose to have one class outside I would choose gym because there would be more room to run around and you could play ball”

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“If I could choose to have one class outside, I would”


“We can do science outside and learn about plants and soil. Maybe we can grow our own plants and take care of them”

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They got creative with their ideas…

“I think that we should have a sand box because as a girl I would like to learn more about sand. I just really want to learn about sand”


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“It would be fun to read outside in the fresh air.


At the end of the day,

“The kids would like to learn in the great environment. We could learn about different topics and grow in knowledge”


An important next step in our community driven design process is to sort through these great ideas and pictures to figure out what it is about these ideas that the students are drawn to. Do they want a tiger cave because they like tigers? Are they interested in having their own space to read or play in? (Kids in the hilltop wanted this – we’re going to build them a giant bird’s nest) Do they want a space to be active in? Once we pull out these aspects of the space and figure out what exactly would entice them to use a green space, we work to create design options, which we bring to our adult community partners for review.

Be sure to stay up to date with our Green Playces:McKeesport project page, and watch as we incorporate some of these great ideas into design options for the site. See something you like? Check our calendar for volunteer days and come help us build it!

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