Schoolyard Improvement Projects

Anne Muller Garden Improvement Project

Schoolyard Improvement Projects

Thank you for your interest to improve your schoolyard! Austin ISD recognizes the many benefits that come with connecting our students to nature.

Did you know?

Elementary aged girl checking on tomato plant.

Garden based learning improves grades, knowledge, and attitudes/behavior in Elementary, Middle, & High School levels.

Lanier High School students working in greenhouse.

92% of students in classrooms that integrated the environment had higher standardized test scores, GPAs, and enthusiasm for learning.

Students inquisitively observing plant growth.

High School students with views of trees and bushes from their cafeteria windows had higher standard test scores, higher grad rates, and higher percentage of students planning to attend a 4-year college.

Four elementary students excited to show their project outside with the teacher.

Gardening at schools helps students feel proud, responsible, & confident.

Cunningham Elementary student gardening with teacher.

Green schoolyards promote physical activity by offering a variety of active play options that engage children of varying fitness levels, ages, and genders.

Elementary aged female student passionately smelling yellow flower.

Natural areas promote child-directed free play that is imaginative, constructive, sensory rich, and cooperative. source



Before implementing your project, please follow the steps below to submit your Schoolyard Improvement Project Review form. The purpose of this form is to approve the location of your project, and to ensure you receive relevant information regarding future site developments, underground utility lines, and potential resources to help you and your team plan and implement the project. The form should be submitted by the School Principal or someone they designate to submit on their behalf. The review committee meets twice a month, and please allow four weeks for review and approval. Please do not begin your project until you have received approval.

Submittal Instructions

Step 1
Please review the FAQs
Step 2
Submit the Schoolyard Improvement Project Review Form.
Step 3
Submit a Work Order to Grounds through the school's administration office to flag your application for review.
What type of projects require submittal of the Schoolyard Improvement Project Review Form?
Use this form for projects such as veggie gardens, raingardens, pollinator gardens, tree planting, greenhouses, chicken coops and animal-related structures, apiaries, cisterns, and playground modifications. Not sure if your project qualifies? Email
What if our school is working with a donor, service provider, vendor, or community volunteers for our Schoolyard Improvement Project?
This is great! All partners are required to follow the AISD Partnership Process. The Schoolyard Improvement Review Committee can still review your form to ensure the project location is suitable, but you will need to ensure the AISD Partnership Process is complete before site work begins.
Where can I find City of Austin regulations relevant to my schoolyard project?
Visit the City of Austin's online search engine and enter any keywords relevant to your project (bees, trees, domestic animals, cisterns, etc.). The applicant is responsible for ensuring the project meets all city regulations, codes, and ordinances.
Where can I find info about 2017 Bond work to help me plan my project?
You can find thetiming and scope ofbond-related projects at your schoolto ensure future construction work will not impact your project.

DO NOT use this form for:

  • Changes to the building: including but not limited to small renovations, new flooring, resurfacing of wood gymnasium floors, replacement of blinds, roofing repairs, HVAC repairs and drainage system improvements. For this type of work, please submit a work order. It will get routed to Construction Management or Maintenance, depending on the scope.
  • Sports field equipment. Contact Austin ISD Athletics.
  • Murals: Content approval is needed from the principal and Associate Superintendent.

School Parks (Joint-Use Sites): 

  • School Park, also known as a Joint-Use Site, is an outdoor space at a school that is available to the public during non-school hours through an agreement between the City of Austin (COA) and AISD. They are co-owned and co-managed between both AISD and COA. Because of the co-ownership, requests for improvements must be approved by both AISD and COA. 
  • Please check whether your school is a Joint-Use Site. If so, you will need to submit a Community Activated Park Project (CAPP) and a Schoolyard Improvement Project (SIP) request form. 
  • The signed Agreement Between the City of Austin and the Austin Independent School District Regarding Development and Shared Use of Jointly Owned Facilities, Ground Improvements, and Open Spaces is available here.

2018 Survey Results for the Total Number of Habitat Features at AISD Schools

Total number of schools with habitat feature. Text file below

Source: AISD Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee