Outdoor Learning Initiatives

Ten Strands is proud to be a founding partner with Green Schoolyards America in two of our outdoor learning initiatives. The National Outdoor Learning Initiative (NOLI) focused on creating safe and healthy outdoor learning spaces at school sites, strategies for teaching and learning outdoors, and opportunities for field based residential and day-time outdoor learning during the pandemic and beyond. The California Schoolyard Forest System℠ focuses on increasing tree canopy on public school grounds across California to shade and protect PK–12 students from extreme heat and rising temperatures due to climate change.

NOLI is a collective impact project led by Ten Strands, Green Schoolyards America, Lawrence Hall of Science, San Mateo County Office of Education, and others to support TK–12 teachers in reimagining the educational experience. Studies show that spending time outdoors is critical to student academic, physical, and mental well-being. Learn more in our policy brief.

Launched in 2020 to help TK–12 schools safely and equitably reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic, the initiative included over 200 subject matter experts focused on the development of free resources for districts to support taking learning outdoors as climate change and environmental justice issues increasingly disrupt student, educator, and campus life.

Check out some of our national media coverage in 2020 about NOLI:

Click here to see more of our coverage on NOLI.

Our other outdoor learning initiative is the California Schoolyard Forest System℠, which Ten Strands launched in 2022 to create PK–12 public school grounds statewide that directly shade and protect students from extreme heat and rising temperatures due to climate change.

Along with Green Schoolyards America, we’re hosting monthly, interactive online meetings for school districts, county offices of education, and public agencies in California and around the country to share information as they move forward with establishing schoolyard forests at scale. Click here to learn more about the Community of Practice for Schoolyard Forests.

Photo credit: Thomas Kuoh Photography


Lawrence Hall of Science

The University of California, Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science is the country’s only science center that is part of a top-tier, public research university. This distinctive affiliation allows the Hall to partner with world-class…

Green Schoolyards America

Green Schoolyards America inspires communities to enrich their school grounds and use them to improve children’s wellbeing, learning, and play while contributing to the ecological health and resilience of their cities. Green…