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Turning Blacktops Into Butterfly Gardens: the San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance Holds Its Inaugural Conference October 25-26.

News Editors/Education Writers


Group's Goal is to Turn Asphalt Jungles into Green Space

The San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance (SFGSA) announced today that it will hold its inaugural Growing Greener School Grounds Conference on October 25th and 26th. The conference is co-sponsored by San Francisco Beautiful (SFB), San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR), and the San Francisco Unified School District.

"The San Francisco Green Schoolyard Alliance was formed out of a desire to dramatically change the landscape of our city's schools which typically provide children with outdoor spaces that are asphalt wastelands," said Nan McGuire, chair of the SFGSA. "Green schoolyards are being created all over the world and provide some of the most effective, hands-on teaching tools available. These cost-effective, outdoor classrooms give schools essential learning resources as they teach our children to be stewards of the environment and also beautify their adjacent surroundings."

The goal of the conference, which is open to parents, teachers and community members throughout the Bay Area, is to educate people on the benefits of green schoolyards. The two day event is being held at St. Mary's Cathedral Conference Center and at Alice Fong Yu Alternative School, San Francisco Community School and Ulloa Elementary School. The conference keynote speaker, Cam Collyer, is the National Manager of the Evergreen's Learning Grounds Program in Canada. Collyer is an internationally recognized leader in the green school grounds movement.

In addition, Sharon Danks, of EcoSchool Design, will give a slide presentation illustrating successful case studies of ecological school grounds in the U.S and around the world.

The conference will also include a networking and resource fair on October 25th to provide information, contacts, and material to use in the classroom and on school grounds.

Conference participants are invited to get their hands dirty in a wide variety of workshops on October 26th. They can help to create a bird and butterfly garden, make a colorful mosaic, or plan and weave a willow play structure. Other workshops will teach them how to use the sun as a teaching resource and connect classroom curriculum to outdoor learning environments.

For more information on how to register, visit to download a copy of the conference brochure and enrollment form, or send your conference questions to
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 18, 2002
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