Construction is underway on the Schoolyard Greening Project at Brown Street Academy School of Multiple Intelligences. This marks the second phase of the school’s playground redesign.
Ground was broken in mid-October at Brown Street Academy, 2029 N. 20th St., to replace the stark asphalt of the playground with more green space, while keeping areas for basketball, hopscotch, foursquare and kickball. The goal is to complete the schoolyard by Dec. 1. The site will include 22 new trees for shade in the northwest corner, and benches and boulders on more than half of the playground.
“We wanted our students to be more aware of their environment,” said Ava Morris, principal of Brown Street Academy, “so there will be outdoor lessons for every season, and more options for recess play.”
The new nature-focused schoolyard will be used year-round by Brown Street Academy students, and its Boys and Girls Club members.
In summer 2010, the Nature Explore Outdoor Classroom was built on more than one-half acre of school grounds, the first phase in renovating Brown Street Academy’s barren playground. The outdoor classroom provides a learning space for math, science, literacy, stage performances, vegetable gardening and visual art production.
Brown Street Academy is one of three sites that are part of a multi-phase capital campaign for the Greater Johnsons Park area. The other two sites are Johnsons Park, at 1919 W. Fond Du Lac Ave., and Alice’s Garden, at 21st Street and Garfield Avenue. Center for Resilient Cities manages the Greater Johnsons Park Initiative, and raises funds for the capital campaign.
The Center for Resilient Cities hopes that its plan to renovate the Greater Johnsons Park area will reduce crime, increase activity among community members and highlight the beauty of the neighborhood. During the third and final phase, which will take place in summer 2012, the school entrance on the south end, and the tot lot located on 21st Street will be redesigned.