skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Biden administration moves to protect Alaska wilderness; opening statements and first witness in NY trial; SCOTUS hears Starbucks case, with implications for unions on the line; rural North Carolina town gets pathway to home ownership.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court weighs cities ability to manage a growing homelessness crisis, anti-Israeli protests spread to college campuses nationwide, and more states consider legislation to ban firearms at voting sites and ballot drop boxes.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

Milwaukee program helps schools ditch playground asphalt for natural settings

play audio
Play

Thursday, January 4, 2024   

Urban heat islands, made worse by climate change, can push up temperatures and bring on more air pollution in larger cities. Now, a Milwaukee project is giving public schools resources to remove a key source of the heat-trapping effect.

Dozens of public schools in Milwaukee are working with the nonprofit Reflo on swapping out playground asphalt for green infrastructure, including more trees and native plants.

Lisa Neeb, manager of the Green and Healthy Schools Program Manager for Reflo, cited environmental benefits such as reduced stormwater runoff, and giving students more refuge on hot days.

"There's often not very many areas of shade, if any, on these urban schoolyards," Neeb pointed out. "There's not a lot of things to naturally do."

Beyond providing a better atmosphere for physical activity, Neeb stressed the spaces create opportunities for outdoor learning. The program was recently highlighted by the National Wildlife Federation, which said green schoolyards also are good for pollinators. Organizers help schools secure grants to facilitate the projects, but officials said it is a challenge to secure enough funding to meet demand.

Neeb emphasized her team is working with medical researchers to collect data on how transformed spaces affect student behavior. She explained the pandemic delayed collection of follow-up data from the program but noted anecdotal information from school administrators offered hope.

"Behavior referrals go down, injuries go down, and kids are more productive in their play," Neeb reported.

Broader research has linked access to green space with positive health benefits, including cognitive development in schoolchildren. Reflo said so far, it has partnered with 41 Milwaukee schools, with half the projects already completed. And Neeb added they have a selection process focusing on equity so disadvantaged schools are not left behind in seeking resources.

Disclosure: The National Wildlife Federation contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species and Wildlife, Energy Policy, and Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
Several Mississippi correctional facilities offer both short-term (12 weeks) and long-term (six months) alcohol and drug programs with individual and group counseling for treating alcohol and drug addictions. (Wesley JvR/peopleimages.com)

Social Issues

play sound

Mississippi prisons often lack resources to treat people who are incarcerated with substance-use disorders adequately but a nonprofit organization is …


Social Issues

play sound

April is Second Chance Month and many Nebraskans are celebrating passage of a bipartisan voting rights restoration bill and its focus on second chance…

Health and Wellness

play sound

New Mexico saw record enrollment numbers for the Affordable Care Act this year and is now setting its sights on lowering out-of-pocket costs - those n…


Migrants are put on buses from Texas to other states, often without knowing where they are going. (afishman64/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The future of Senate Bill 4 is still tangled in court challenges. It's the Texas law that would allow police to arrest people for illegally crossing …

Social Issues

play sound

Residents in a rural North Carolina town grappling with economic challenges are getting a pathway to homeownership. In Enfield, the average annual …

Social Issues

play sound

A new poll finds a near 20-year low in the number of voters who say they have a high interest in the 2024 election, with a majority saying they hold …

Social Issues

play sound

A case before the U.S. Supreme Court could have implications for the country's growing labor movement. Justices will hear oral arguments in Starbucks …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021