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College of Architecture and Planning University of Colorado Denver


News & Events



​​schoolintheyard-thumb.jpgCheck out the new School In The Yard book​!



Volunteers from DirecTV along with DPS students and parents help to build their new​ Learning Landscape!

Learning Landscapes helps Greenwood Garden to​ grow. 


Denver Public Schools held groundbreaking ceremonies to kick-off Learning Landscape construction at Oak​land, Newlon and University Park elementary schools. ​

DPS dedicated 11 new Learning Landscapes schoolyards! Check back for photos of the dedication ceremonies.


Lois Brink serves on a best practices report panel for Play Matters, at the National League of Cities conference.

Sarah Lampe presents at the 137th annual American Public Health Association Meeting and Exposition.

  • Click Here to learn more about the upcoming Exposition!

Learning Landscapes attend the Healthy Kids, Healthy Nation conference.

Learning Landscapes announces $660,000 in new funding.

Learning Landscapes very own Cate Townley was appointed to the City of Englewood Urban Renewal Authority and the Keep Englewood Beautiful Commission.

  • Read More  about Keep Englewood Beautiful and the City of Englewood Urban Renewal Authority here February 2010

The State of Play: Gallup Survey of Principals on School Recess.

Mustangs on the Move, Munroe Elementary's incentive-based walk-to-school program was featured on Channel 7 News!

Learning Landscapes provides testimony at the Capitol on behalf of House Bill 10-1120.


Learning Landscapes was highlighted in the UC Denver Advocate in the article “Play: cure obesity on the merry-go-round”.

  • In a new report, Play Matters, national non-profit KaBOOM! has searched the country for local initiatives that have increased the quantity of available play spaces and opportunities, improved the quality of kids playtime, and increased children's safe access to them. KaBOOM! is the national non-profit bringing play back into the lives of children. The Play Matters report was commissioned as part of the prganization's Playful City USA campaign, which seeks to honor communities across the country who have made a committment to improving the lives of their children through play. "Learning Landscapes," a program of the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver, was one of 12 programs the organization singled out as an example of great ways communities can help get their kids active and healthy. Read more...    

Learning Landscapes receives $3 million grant from NIH to study the effects of schoolyards on childhood obesity

  • Over the last 10 years, thanks to the generous support of Denver voters, foundation grants, and grassroots efforts, Denver's children now have healthier places to play. Learning Landscapes, a program of the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver and the Center for Human Nutrition at the UC Denver School of Medicine has learned it is the recipient of a $3 million National Institutes of Health grant to study how Denver’s redeveloped schoolyards, in combination with nutrition education, affect childhood activity levels and obesity rates.  The five-year grant will look at 24 Denver Public Schools’ (DPS) elementary playgrounds; 12 that have Learning Landscapes in place and 12 control schools that have older playground equipment and pea gravel yards. Read more...     

Channel 4 News spotlights Mustangs on the Move, an incentive-based walk-to-school program at Munroe Elementary

  • A new report from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council shows local governments how to fight childhood obesity. Researchers say that local government plays a crucial role in promoting healthy communities. Read more...

Playground constructed in less than one day in Westwood neighborhood!

Coalition considered for funding by RWJF Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities (HKHC)

  • A coalition of partners headed by Denver Health, Learning Landscapes, and the City of Denver's Department of Public Works has been approved to continue into the final round of a grant proposal process. The application to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities (HKHC) initiative is to establish policy that improves Denver’s streetscape and neighborhoods for children’s active travel and play, such as walking and biking to school. Originally, over 100 communities applied; 27 have been approved to enter this phase of applying, and 20 projects will eventually be funded for $360,000 over four years.

Colorado Public Radio interviews Learning Landscapes

  • The idea behind "Learning Landscapes" is to do more education outside and create a place the whole neighborhood can use. Ryan Warner speaks with the program's director, Lois Brink. Listen here

Channel 9 News Spotlights Learning Landscapes

  • Fifth grader Edwin Ramirez doesn't always like to learn in the classroom. That's why he and his classmates are out digging up the school grounds at Munroe Elementary to make way for a new vegetable garden. "I never done this before and I feel like I want to help the environment," Ramirez said. The new garden is part of a project called Learning Landscapes. The University of Colorado Denver started this program to help children in urban settings learn more about the environment while also promoting exercise. Read more... 

Partners for Livable Communities awards Learning Landscapes the Entrepreneurial American Cities Award!

  • Play areas honored for education, transformation of 48 schools, hundreds of students benefit from program (April 13, 2009). Learning Landscapes, a program of the College of Architecture and Planning at the University of Colorado Denver—and a partnership project with Denver Public Schools—has been recognized for bringing together the organizations and elements needed to transform Denver’s elementary school playgrounds and surrounding neighborhoods through its design of new, safe, multi-dimensional play areas. For more information, please visit the University of Colorado Newsroom



  • On November 4th, Denver voters approved a $453.5 million Denver Public Schools bond. The bond will  provide an opportunity for every DPS elementary school to have a Learning Landscape.  The playground improvements will affect over 20,000 students with 37 schools receiving a full Learning Landscape and 16 schools receiving components of a Learning Landscape. Click below to watch the KUSA-TV CH9 (NBC) news story highlighting the positive impacts these Learning Landscape improvements will have on the Denver community.
  • Announcing a new partnership with Boulder Valley School District and the University of Colorado. Learning Landscapes will deliver Master Plans, Design Development Drawings, and Design Build classes for all 25 public elementary school campuses over three years.  We will guide CU-Boulder undergraduate students as they work closely with school communities to create "green," educational, and developmentally appropriate school campuses.

DNC Delegates Build Playground

  • On Wednesday August 27th, 90 delegates visiting Denver for the Democratic National Convention, volunteered their time to build a playground at Force Elementary School in southwest Denver. Learn More
  • AmeriCorps Summer of Service works with Learning Landscapes and additional community organizations! Learn More
  • Learning Landscapes and Slow Food's Wellness in the Garden after-school program is underway at Eagleton Elementary! We teach children nutrition and gardening through-hands on activities in the school's vegetable garden.  Learn More 
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