The Boston Schoolyard Initiative: A Study of Its Schoolyard Renovations

Researchers in the Boston University Department of Environmental Health conducted a case study of the Boston Schoolyard Initiative, a project that provides funds and technical support to community groups dedicated to renovating schoolyards in Boston.

Researchers described the process by which the Boston Schoolyard Initiative came into being and identified its key successes, challenges and lessons.

This project was part of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) Active Living Research program. The program funds research that improves knowledge and policies regarding ways that environmental factors affect physical activity, particularly for children.

Key Findings

  • The Boston Schoolyard Initiative's structure, which gives both public and private agencies authority to commit funds and make decisions, is critical to its success.
  • Redevelopment efforts cannot be sustained by volunteerism alone.
  • Schoolyards can bring schools and communities together.