What kind of playground is more appealing to you – one with thriving green trees that offer a spot of color and shade on warm days, or an asphalt-covered expanse with black and gray as far as the eye can see?

Although asphalt may be easier to maintain, a growing body of evidence shows that trees and grass are good for kids. Not only are trees an important part of a hospitable playground environment, they offer other benefits as well.

Studies have shown that kids who spend more time in “green” environments – places with grass, plants, and trees, have fewer concentration and ADD problems, score slightly higher on tests, and are more likely to feel calm.

One of the authors of these studies had this to say about the importance of trees:
“Before we started our research, I would have said trees are nice, but the problems we’re facing in our cities and our budgets are such that I’m not sure they’re worth it. I think that through this research, I have become convinced that trees are really an important part of a supportive, humane environment. Without vegetation, people are very different beings.”


Other studies have also shown that a green environment can have a positive effect on the way people (and kids) work:
“People don’t have to head for the woods to enjoy nature’s restorative effects”, the Kaplans emphasize.” Even a glimpse of nature from a window helps.” In one well-known study, for instance, Rachel Kaplan found that “office workers with a view of nature liked their jobs more, enjoyed better health, and reported greater life satisfaction.”
The program is a cooperative effort between Milwaukee Public Schools, the City’s Forestry Division, and Greening Milwaukee.
If your school would like to participate in the Greening Milwaukee Schools program, please contact:

Joe Wilson, Executive Director
Greening Milwaukee
1313 W. Mt Vernon Ave.
Milwaukee, WI, 53233