The Westerbeke Declaration on School Grounds
The International School Grounds Alliance (ISGA) was formed in September 2011 following an international green schoolyard conference held in the San Francisco Bay Area in California, USA. At the founding gathering, ISGA’s inaugural Leadership Council members collaborated to write a document that expresses our organization’s vision for the international school grounds movement and is intended to guide ISGA’s work into the future. The Westerbeke Declaration on School Grounds was signed by the thirty-four international leaders who participated in the meeting, hailing from twenty-nine organizations in seven countries.
In the words of the Westerbeke Declaration: “The ISGA invites organizations, institutions and individuals around the world to join an international movement to support and promote the development of school grounds that are good for students, good for learning, good for schools and good for the relationship between humans and the natural world.”
The Westerbeke Declaration was read publicly for the first time at the opening of the Nature School conference, hosted by Evergreen in partnership with the ISGA, in Toronto, Canada in September 2013. The Westerbeke Declaration has been guiding ISGA’s work since 2011, and we hope this document will inspire action around the world to further support the growing school ground movement in the years to come.
International School Grounds Month Activity Guide
Every year in May, ISGA celebrates school grounds with an annual, worldwide event we call International School Grounds Month. We encourage teachers everywhere to take their students--of all ages--outside to enjoy their grounds for learning, play and other activities!
We hope you will participate every year and report back to us about your International School Grounds Month celebrations so we may share your stories on our blog.
Green Grounds for
Health and Learning
This short video, filmed during the ISGA conference in Sweden, explores the question: "Why do children need Green School Grounds?" Seven of ISGA's Leadership Council members give their personal answer to this question and speak about why Green School Grounds--living landscapes--are important for children's play. The video footage also highlights some of Lund, Sweden's beautiful school grounds. (Fall 2016)
This short video, filmed during the ISGA conference in California, includes interviews with leaders in the school ground movement in seven countries, and photographs of some of their loveliest school grounds in action. (Fall 2011)