Time spent outdoors supports many aspects of children’s health, including their ability to connect and cooperate with others. Below is a copy of the "Health Benefits to Children from Contact with the Outdoors" and excerpts from an article produced by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
There are numerous studies that document the benefits to students from school grounds that are ecologically diverse and include free-play areas, habitat for wildlife, walking trails, and gardens. One major study is "Grounds for Action: Promoting Physical Activity through School Ground Greening in Canada" by Anne C. Bell and Janet E. Dyment. While this study has roots in concern about obesity in children, it documents results and benefits beyond weight loss. Children who experience school grounds with diverse natural settings are more physically active, more aware of nutrition, more civil to one another, and more creative. One of the major benefits of green school grounds is increased involvement by adults and members of the nearby community, from helping with gardens to enriching the lifescape of the school grounds. Concerned about policy implications, this report offers specific recommendations for actions communities can take, from local neighborhoods to cities, states, and provinces. (Original Research)
Bell, Anne C.; and Janet E. Dyment. "Grounds for Action: Promoting Physical Activity through School Ground Greening in Canada." © 2006 Evergreen.