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Boston Schoolyard Initiative 

Together with the Boston Schoolyard Initiative, The Lynch Foundation helped transform asphalt-covered schoolyards into vibrant outdoors spaces where students can learn and play.

The Story

Students are often products of their environment, and prior to 1995, in Boston Public Schools, that environment was often a barren, asphalt-covered schoolyard. But over the past 18 years, Boston Schoolyard Initiative has been transforming those unimaginative spaces, as well as the lives of the more than 30,000 students who use them. The only program of its kind in Boston, BSI has renovated 88 schoolyards, building fun and vibrant outdoor spaces where students can play and learn.

The Partnership

As one of the largest investors in the Boston Schoolyard Funders Collaborative, The Lynch Foundations has invested half a million dollars into the project since 2007, propelling BSI to reclaim 130 acres of space, 25 of which are dedicated green space, equal to the size of the Boston Public Garden. With The Lynch Foundation’s help, BSI unveiled its 88th rehabilitated schoolyard in October of 2013, completing its mission to renovate all Boston public schools with elementary students.

The Connections

As the most successful collaboration between the public and private sectors during Mayor Menino’s 20-years in office, BSI is pioneering future partnerships in Boston and across the country, such as the Oakland Schoolyard Initiative that is seeking to renovate 50 schoolyards in ten years. BSI has also trained over 700 teachers as part of their “Science In the Schoolyard” program, which helps teachers use nature to teach science courses and is now available to educators nationwide.