Research and experience tell us that time in nature improves physical and mental health, academic performance, and happiness. Because children today rarely have the opportunity to roam freely in the natural world, we believe that it is our responsibility to bring nature to the schoolyards where children spend their time and to support teachers in comfortably using the outdoors with students.
The Arlington Living Schoolyard Initiative (ALSI) is a coalition of organizations and individuals whose mission is to provide every child in our community with equitable access to nature on their schoolyards.
ALSI is led by a team with local and national expertise in planning, design, health, education, environment, natural resources, advocacy, and local government.
The land that our school district stewards is a valuable school, community, and environmental resource.
It is our vision to transform our schoolyards into unique, park-like, restorative, biophilically designed, ecologically functional spaces that mitigate climate change by providing cooling shade, infiltrating stormwater, and providing habitat, while supporting recreation, contemplation, exploration, learning, and play.
We offer expert advice, hands-on assistance, resources, community events and presentations, partnerships, and support to the Arlington education community.
Read and download our white paper for more information on the Arlington Living Schoolyard Initiative.
Our Leadership Team
- Judy Apostolico-Buck, Barcroft Elementary Principal
- Anne Braghetta, Ph.D., Friends of Urban Agriculture (FOUA) Board of Directors Member
- Ann Marie Douglass, Nature Club Kids LLC Founder, School Health Advisory Board Subcommittee Chair, Arlington Partnership for Children Youth and Families Member, APS Parent
- Henry Dunbar, ACCS, Director of Active Transportation Operations, Arlington County
- Lauren Ford, Architect, Feng Shui, and Energy Practitioner
- Maraea Harris, Campbell Elementary PTA
- Elenor Hodges, EcoAction Arlington Executive Director, NoVA Outside Board Chair, APS Parent
- Maxwell Julius, Arlington Tech Student Representative
- Joan Kelsch, Sustainability Advocate and Community Builder, former APS parent
- Kris Krider, Urban Design professional, Arlington County and former APS parent.
- Lisa Labella, Wakefield teacher
- Carrie Lombardi, Barcroft PTA President
- David McBride, Kenmore Middle School Principal
- Jason Papacosma, Environmental Professional and APS Parent
- Charles Resnick, Volunteer Outdoor Education Specialist
- Gaby Rivas, Barcroft Elementary Assistant Principal
- Mary Sanders, Healthy Community Action Team (HCAT) Coordinator, APS Parent
- Nancy Striniste, EarlySpace LLC founder and principal designer, Green Schoolyards America Director of East Coast Programs, ALSI Founder, former APS parent