The belief that adding more traditional playgrounds will encourage activity amongst children has proven to be a false assumption. A study that used GPS (Global Positioning System) to examine the link between environment and activity levels amongst children has shown that traditional playgrounds do little to promote activity. The large metal structures are often intimidating for children and unusable in winter or rainy months. The study showed that kids were more active in natural areas and playscapes with where they could run around, explore and use their imaginations to define “open-ended play elements like wood posts.” Although childhood obesity rates are climbing and although positive links between green space and learning have been found, playgrounds remain low on the priority list for many underfunded school boards. In BC parents have had to raise money for playgrounds themselves. Read more in the Globe and Mail.
Find out about Evergreen’s School Ground Greening program.