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Climate-Ready Schools

Climate-Ready Schools is Evergreen’s next stage of over 25 years of intensive work to green Canadian school grounds.

children on playground, made of natural materials

Climate-Ready Schools builds on Evergreen’s 25-year legacy of transforming schoolgrounds across the country into areas of green learning and community. The project aims to improve the overall design, management and educational use of schools and its schoolgrounds by mitigating flood risk, adapting to climate change and serving the school and surrounding community during and outside of school hours.

Schools are a significant component of public space in cities. They are hubs of learning and play for children to grow and develop relationships with each other and the natural environment, and provide a vital space for social cohesion, as people from all walks of life interact in these spaces. 

How schools and their schoolgrounds are designed can play a major role in how a city will, or will not, adapt to climate change. Current schoolgrounds that are mostly asphalt and concrete contribute to the urban heat island effect and are hotspots for flooding during storms. Within the context of climate change, it is essential to build resiliency within the wider community, to ensure that these lands serve a deeper ecological purpose.

Climate-Ready Schools is Evergreen’s next stage of over 25 years of intensive work to green Canadian school grounds.

Led by Evergreen and generously funded by the Balsam Foundation, Intact Financial Corporation and other key supporters, this program brings best practices from around the world and combines them with the lessons and relationships built through the transformation of over 6,000 Canadian schools, impacting over one million students.

The project embeds our unique child-friendly participatory design process to inform the redevelopment of the schools and schoolgrounds. By using a participatory design process, the entire school community champions the project and creates a unique solution tailored to each community.

Each project will: 

  • Adapt to the changing climate through managing stormwater on site and moderating temperature and wind speed
  • Nurture child development: physically, intellectually, cognitively and socially
  • Support a significant increase in outdoor play and learning
  • Serve the community by adding value outside of school hours

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