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Unveiling of Design for First Community Schoolyard in Pittsburgh


Trust for Public Land and Pittsburgh Greenfield PreK-8 are excited to celebrate the unveiling of the design for the first Community Schoolyard project in Pittsburgh. Trust for Public Land (TPL) is working with students and officials from Greenfield to transform the concrete lot at the school into a shared public park.  


Through the organization’s participatory design process, TPL led a semester’s worth of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) lessons to design the new Greenfield Community Schoolyard. Students learned about the climate and health issues facing the community and how features in the design—rain gardens, canopy trees, and social gathering spaces—would address broader community needs.


Students will benefit from replacing asphalt deserts for trees, gardens, and updated play equipment. According to teachers and school administration, attendance, behavior, and test scores all improve after these schoolyard renovations. 


“Giving students the power to not only use their voice to create a fun and interactive play space, but to teach them how implementing different design features could help their community reduce impacts from flooding and extreme heat is truly invaluable,” said Owen Franklin, Vice President, Great Lakes Region for Trust for Public Land. “We’re so proud to be able to celebrate this important milestone in the process today and look forward to coming back and seeing the first steps on the new incredible space – the first of its kind in the city of Pittsburgh.”


In addition to providing an inviting green place for students, the schoolyard will be open as a community park outside of school hours to the over 2,500 individuals that live within a 10-minute walk of the school, the majority of which are low- and middle-income families who have historically lacked access to quality park and play space. Construction on the new Community Schoolyard is scheduled to begin in spring 2024.


Of the 90,000 public schools in the United States, only a tiny fraction have schoolyards that are green and inviting, as well as open to the public after school and on weekends. Most are overheated, vacant, and uninspired. TPL’s Community Schoolyards™ projects continue to lead the movement to transform our nation’s asphalt playgrounds into vibrant green spaces that are improving student education outcomes, community health, and climate resiliency.


About Trust for Public Land


Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national nonprofit that works to connect everyone to the benefits and joys of the outdoors. As a leader in equitable access to the outdoors, TPL works with communities to create parks and protect public land where they are needed most. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 4 million acres of public land, created more than 5,364 parks, trails, schoolyards, and iconic outdoor places, raised $93 billion in public funding for parks and public lands, and connected nearly 9.4 million people to the outdoors. To learn more, visit