AHBL Promotes Community through Sustainable and Inclusive Green Space Design
A well-designed green space has both environmental benefits and helps support a students’ ability to learn in and out of the classroom. AHBL’s landscape architecture team has decades of experience working on these spaces, designing vibrant and engaging schoolyards for school districts across Washington State.
On many K-12 landscape design projects, AHBL’s landscape team coordinates with the surrounding neighborhood and local community. Blending the nature play area into the existing area creates a cohesive outdoor experience. This philosophy has helped to create engaging spaces in Tacoma’s Annie Wright Schools, Arlington Elementary School, Jane Adams Middle School, and Kellogg Middle School.
AHBL’s designers approach their schoolyard design projects with the vision that playgrounds should be sustainable, accessible to all, and should encourage building community connections. AHBL schoolyard designs include creative stormwater treatment solutions and incorporate sustainable best management practices that reduce environmental impacts. In some cases, natural materials found on-site, such as trees and boulders, may be incorporated into the design or given a second life in the form of a seating or play element. Additionally, the range of material options for play surfacing and equipment is ever expanding to include more recycled content.
Currently, the knowledge and importance of green schoolyards are growing among educational stakeholders. The Green Schoolyards America movement and efforts of those such as The Trust for Public Land, are creating novel opportunities for landscape designers to have an impact on children’s development and build community connection through their work. AHBL is excited to be working at the forefront of these types of projects, in which it can have a positive impact on the lives of young students and their communities.