Today let's play a little game. It's called "School or Prison". Take a look at the images below and take a guess as to which ones were taken on school grounds and which ones were taken on prison grounds......
Okay, I know, I wasn't being entirely fair. It was a little bit of a trick question. All of these photos were taken on the grounds of two local schools. Yet to me they all look like prison.
As I was driving around the parking lots of one school, all I encountered were locks and fences and a police car. Are people being kept out or locked in? You really can't tell. But it does strike me that this isn't a place where people want to be.
A few years ago I took some LEED courses. I was particularly interested in LEED for schools. There have been many studies done that show a link between access to nature and increased learning. Do we really need studies to tell us this? Isn't it obvious? These schools located near our home certainly don't inspire much of anything. They are drab, cold, industrial. There is barely any nature to speak of. It makes me rather sad. The quality of these schools is supposedly quite high and that is the good news. Still, can't we have the quality and an environment conducive to learning, a warm and nurturing place? Aren't our children worth it?