Tag Archives: Open Schoolyards


Play Matters: A Case Study of Best Practices to Inform Local Policy and Process in Support of Children’s Play

Children playing outside—in spaces dedicated for play or not—signify a vibrant, healthy community. In cities and towns across America, however, children just don’t get out and play
as they used to. The barriers to play include increased screen time, reductions in school-based
playtime, more traffic, less open space, run-down play areas, and caregivers’ fears about
safety. As children become more sedentary, the loss of play has serious consequences for
health, education, and community development.

Read the full report here.

What is a Joint Use Agreement?

ChangeLab Solutions has put together a great explanation of Joint Use Agreements.

Many communities lack safe, adequate places for children and their families to exercise and play. Schools might have a variety of recreational facilities—gymnasiums, playgrounds, fields, courts, tracks—but many districts close their property to the public after school hours because of concerns about costs, vandalism, security, maintenance, and liability in the event of injury.

Most states currently have laws that encourage or even require schools to open their facilities to the community for recreation or other civic uses. Nonetheless, school officials may be reluctant to do so, cautious about the expense in times of increasingly tight budgets.

The good news is that city, county, and town governments can partner with school districts through what are known as joint use agreements to address these concerns.

Check out their Fact Sheet for more information.