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Bay-Friendly Schoolyard opens at Sequoia Elementary in Oakland

Sequoia Elementary Bay-Friendly Schoolyard before and after
September 7, 2016

Sequoia Elementary School in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) recently celebrated the transformation of their schoolyard with the dedication of a new Bay-Friendly Rated landscape.

What was once a barren, hot blacktop is now the Sausal Creek Nature Area, featuring plants for pollinators, California native trees, and seating for K-5 students. This multi-purpose Bay-Friendly Rated landscape is designed to provide ecological and emotional connections between Sequoia’s schoolyard and the Sausal Creek Watershed. 

A gentle swale, boulders and reclaimed logs, a salvaged play boat and California native plants provide K-5 students with imaginative, constructive and nature-play opportunities. Picnic tables and an outdoor gathering area built of locally sourced boulders allow teachers to use the space for outdoor instruction to enhance their classroom work. 

The project was a collaboration between StopWaste, OUSD and Sequoia Elementary teachers, staff, students, parents, and community partners. The Sausal Creek Nature Area received a Bay-Friendly rating of 72. The landscape was designed by Bay Tree Design and constructed by Cagwin & Dorward, who were very generous with their time. The schoolyard Urban Greening project was funded by Proposition 84 to improve the sustainability and livability of California’s communities. Information and resources about schoolyard greening projects can be found here.