Chicago Public Schools
Space to Grow
Space to Grow is an innovative program led by Healthy Schools Campaign and Openlands with a primary focus of transforming dilapidated Chicago schoolyards into vibrant outdoor spaces that benefit students, the local community, and the environment.
Hey and Associates, Inc. worked with several organizations and the community to develop plans to modernize the campuses of Morrill and Leland Elementary Schools located on Chicago’s west and south sides. Schoolyard renovations prioritized physical activity, play, learning, exploration, community use and green infrastructure, which resulted in artificial turf playing fields, basketball courts, play structures, jogging tracks, outdoor classrooms, learning gardens, vegetable gardens, and rain gardens.
Space to Grow was funded through several different sources including Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Department of Water Management, and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Additional project partners included the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, City of Chicago Office of the Mayor, the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children and The Kitchen Community.
These projects have received critical acclaim, and have received awards from Friends of the Chicago River and the Illinois Association for Floodplain and Stormwater Management.