The Ecology of Schoolyards and Urban Ecosystems

Schoolyard Research

Schoolyard Research

Schoolyard Cover

Do schoolyards reflect the ecology and/or sociology of the neighborhoods they occur in? If so, they might contain a similar mix of land covers and thus serve as an accessible microcosm for students to study that still reflects their larger environment. On the other hand, we might prefer schools to be greener than their surroundings, especially where green space is at a premium.

In 2003, Alexis Schulman (a student in our REU program) developed a scheme to classify schoolyard cover, and then applied this to describing the land cover on schoolyards in urban and suburban parts of Baltimore. Neighborhood factors were correlated with schoolyard structure, though significant variation at each part of the urban-to-rural gradient suggests that schoolyard enhancement can succeed anywhere.

Earthworms in Schoolyards

In 2004, Annie Christian (another REU student) investigated the relationship between earthworm abundance and soil properties, including infiltration rates, in schoolyard soils.

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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