Dan D. Rogers Elementary celebrated their ‘Cool Schools Community Parks’ with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, where we also unveiled the site-plans for the other ‘Cool School Community Parks’ which include: S.S Conner Elementary School, Tom C. Gooch Elementary School, C.A. Tatum Jr. Elementary School, and Boude Storey Middle School. Thanks to public-private partnerships with Dallas Park and Recreation Department, Dallas ISD, Lyda Hill Philanthropies, The Boone Foundation, Texan by Nature, and Groundwork Dallas-- students, faculty, and residents are able to use this green space as a way to combat “park deserts” which are classified as areas that do not have a park within a 10-minute walk.
Along with creating park access to the neighborhood, the planting of trees increases canopy coverage which helps cool temperatures on school campuses. The school parks also bring more support to student’s social and emotional learning, as mentioned by Rogers Elementary Principal Lisa Lovato, who uses the improved campus to provide spaces where students can self-regulate and self-manage.
Students and staff use this school park model to enjoy outdoor learning spaces with an integrated curriculum provided by the Foundation. After the ceremony, students were stationed at different parts of their playground to present attendees with specific information about the park and the benefits of trees.
By bringing educational spaces and community together - environmental initiatives, learning opportunities, and community engagement can coexist for a better, healthier city.