A project of smallMatters Institute…

What is EcoGlen?

Based on the idea that beautiful schools create beautiful minds, EcoGlen was launched to bring a more natural environment into the lives of public school children. We began by  building gardens and including art in the public causeways. Fostering a deeper connection to nature may often cause students to have a higher propensity for learning.

EcoGlen improves the quality of life for public school children by bringing more beauty into their environment. By improving the physical setting where children learn, students will feel better about attending school. EcoGlen strives to provide every student with a school they can be proud of.

“To protect children and support healthy lifestyles, new forms of ‘inoculation’ are required, including changes to the built environment of children’s daily lives. The latest research and findings suggest that a healthy therapeutic effect is experienced by children who are directly exposed to nature.”

Moore and Marcus 2008

Why are beautiful schools important?

The public education system is arguably the most important government service offered for children. In order for future generations to successfully help America achieve its ideals of equal opportunity, all citizens must be adequately educated.

Since children and teachers spend a great deal of time at school, it is vital that they have beautiful environments in which to learn, teach, work, and play. Beauty inspires us all to live more creative and happy lives. And, when children and adults are happier, the learning environment becomes more productive and enjoyable.

 A child’s standard for quality of life is dictated by their day-to-day surroundings.  By giving students an environment that is conducive to their health and happiness, they will gain the drive and passion to model that environment for the rest of their lives.  It is beneficial to teach children that a beautiful community is the norm, rather than an exception.

“Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants.”

John W. Gardner

Why EcoGlen?

School grounds full of gardens and other aesthetically pleasing foliage are beneficial to the students but do require upkeep and resources. EcoGlen seeks to contribute these assets to schools. Instead of being an added drain on money or time for administration and volunteers, EcoGlen offers students the opportunity to participate in our projects.

Students who have pride in their school are more likely to remain in the school system. This increased morale extends into the classroom and helps with student learning and retention, which can lead to higher test scores and improved opportunities later in life.

EcoGlen is based on the idea that beautiful schools contribute to beautiful minds. We target schools where students are prone to social challenges and may be at risk of dropping out. By making schools a more enjoyable place to be, students are more likely to have a positive attitude towards learning and life in general.

Why is nature so important?

Studies continue to show that nature plays an important role in child development, both socially and academically. These proven results help EcoGlen pave the way for making positive change on school campuses both locally and nationally.

“Proximity to, views of, and daily exposure to natural settings increases children’s ability to focus and enhances cognitive abilities.”

Wells, 2000

“No one among us wants to be a member of the last generation to pass on its children the joy of playing outside in nature”

Richard Low, Last Child Left in the Woods

“Studies of children in schoolyards found that children engage in more creative forms of play in the green areas. They also played more cooperatively. Play in nature is especially important for developing capacities for creativity, problem-solving, and intellectual development”

Bell and Dyment, 2006 & Kellert, 2005

“Contact with the natural world can significantly reduce symptoms of attention deficit disorder in children as young as five years old.”

Kuo and Taylor, 2004

Call to Action!

EcoGlen is a social outreach project focused on positively benefiting students, parents, teachers, and surrounding neighborhoods. In order to serve them the best we can, we are asking the entire stakeholder community for support. This can come in the form of volunteers helping on-site; people donating resources such as potted plants, starter seeds, and garden materials; and also monetary donations to assist us in widening our reach to affect more students’ lives.

If you would like to become part of the EcoGlen team, as a sponsor or community service volunteer, please contact us.

© Copyright - EcoGlen 2016