Designing Outdoor Environments for Children: Landscaping School Yards, Gardens and Playgrounds

Front Cover
McGraw Hill Professional, Jun 30, 2010 - Architecture - 380 pages

This unique resource expertly details the design, installation, and maintenance of sustainable children's landscapes and play yards. Numerous case studies cover projects including storybook courtyards, music and barnyard gardens, nature trails, wildlife habitats, memorial, and edible gardens.


What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Practical advise for the novice that covers all of the aspects necessary to actually implement an outdoor design; the table of contents does not lie. As a landscape architect, I even found helpful information, particularly in using volunteers, the many case studies, and fundraising sections. I do think it could be more concise, much of the writing seems redundant, and there's a need for more specific examples to explain concepts. It left me feeling 'yes, but how...exactly?'. I realize it's intended for the beginner, but still.
The section on safety is particularly vexing. The author acknowledges the inherent contradiction between designing to an elevated perceived safety threat, lest a child get a splinter or bruise on occasion, and designing environments that meet the aforementioned play fundamentals of diversity and opportunities to modify and change the environment during play. "Mystery stimulates curiosity, which leads to learning, and yet it is this quality that is so often stripped from school-yards in the name of safety". I'm confused, you just said stripping all of this to make it safe is of "paramount importance"? However, the critical discussion on how to reconcile these conflicting values is missing unfortunately. I say "critical" because there are staunch advocates in both the 'safety' court and the 'nature' court, and they seem to be growing further and further apart as our culture continues to detach from our natural roots. The idea that the outdoors is unsafe and even dangerous is vehemently defended by some. I think of the look of terror and her panicked gargle as one mother dove, screaming, onto her toddler to stop her from eating some snow recently. Ewww, nature!


A Natural Childhood Giving Children the World
Chapter 1 History and Development
Chapter 2 The Design Process
Chapter 3 Childrens Gardens
Chapter 4 Schoolyards Playgrounds and Backyards
Chapter 5 Sustainable Landscape Concepts
Chapter 6 Curriculum Fundraising Community Partnerships and Service Learning

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 152 - THERE was a child went forth every day, And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became, And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day, Or for many years or stretching cycles of years.
Page 25 - SOURCE: Developed by the National Center for Health Statistics in collaboration with the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (2000). A CDC FIGURE 39-5. Growth charts. (A) For girls birth to 36 months for length, weight, and head circumference. 2 to 20 years...
Page 269 - Every child should have mud pies, grasshoppers, waterbugs, tadpoles, frogs, mudturtles, elderberries, wild strawberries, acorns, chestnuts, trees to climb, brooks to wade in, waterlilies, woodchucks, bats, bees, butterflies, various animals to pet, hayfields, pine cones, rocks to roll, sand, snakes, huckleberries, and hornets; and any child who has been deprived of these has been deprived of the best part of his education.
Page 276 - It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.
Page 122 - Once upon a time there were four little Rabbits, and their names were — Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-tail, and Peter. They lived with their mother in a sand-bank, underneath the root of a very big fir-tree. "Now, my dears," said old Mrs. Rabbit, one morning, "you may go into the fields or down the lane, but don't go into Mr. McGregor's garden; your father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor.
Page 283 - And so, too, to get angry is an easy matter, and in any man's power : or to give away money or to spend it : but to decide to whom to give it, and how large a sum, and when, and for what purpose, and how, is neither in every man's power, nor an easy matter.
Page xiv - This material is based upon work supported by the Cooperative State Research Education and Extension Service, US Department of Agriculture, under Agreement No.
Page 278 - You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find, you get what you need.
Page 321 - Study nature love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.

About the author (2010)

Lolly Tai, Ph.D., RLA, FASLA is chair and professor of the Department of Landscape Architecture and Horticulture at Temple University, and a practicing landscape architect with more than 25 years' experience. Dr. Tai's work focuses on the influence of the environment on landscape design. She is the coauthor and contributing writer of Landscape Design for Energy Efficiency, Tree Conservation and Home Site Development Guide, and Service Learning Across the Curriculum: Case Studies. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects, a recipient of the 2004 Bradford Williams Medal for Meritorious Writing in Landscape Architecture Magazine and a recipient of the 2005 Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture Award of Distinction in Teaching.

Mary Taylor Haque, RLA, ASLA is a registered landscape architect and Alumni Distinguished Professor of Horticulture at Clemson University. Utilizing a service learning model, she and her students and colleagues have partnered with USDA, the Sustainable Universities Initiative, and community partners to design children's gardens across the state of South Carolina. A primary focus area of her research and outreach has been sustainable schoolyard habitats for K-12 schools. These outdoor classrooms incorporate design principles centered on sustainability and resource management as well as usefulness as a learning and play environment for children. She is a 2005 John Glenn Scholar in Service Learning and a recipient of the American Society for Horticulture Science Outstanding Undergraduate Educator Award.

Gina K . McLellan, Ph.D., has been a professor of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at Clemson University for 25 years with a teaching focus on recreation and leisure environments and natural resource management. She has also directed the U.S. Forest Service's national recreation management training program throughout her tenure at Clemson. She and her students, through service learning projects, have spent the past ten years working to design and develop creative, quality outdoor environments for children which help those children to develop respect for the outdoors, enhance their learning, and improve socialization through play. Her work with children's outdoor environments has led to numerous awards and to serving as an advisor to others developing children’s environments. She plans to continue researching and advocating environment-based education for schools around the country as a means of enhancing learning and environmental protection.

Erin Jordan Knight is director of natural resource protection at Upstate Forever, an organization that promotes sensible growth and protects special places in the upstate region of South Carolina. Her work includes providing and protecting the power and joy of nature for all children, and her public landscape designs include the Children's Garden at Linky Stone Park in Greenville, SC and the neighborhood park at Sliding Rock Creek, both community projects led by Leadership Greenville. Ms. Knight graduated Summa Cum Laude with Departmental Honors from Clemson University in 2001 with a degree in landscape architecture. She was awarded the Certificate of Honor from the American Society of Landscape Architects, the highest award given to a student landscape architect.

Bibliographic information