A coalition of local, national, and tribal partners have teamed up to build a Green Schoolyard at Chiloquin Elementary School.
Rural communities across the United States face stark community health equity challenges, ranging from lack of access to health clinics and toxic levels of stress, to unsafe drinking water, and high rates of suicide. In a state where 80% of the land is considered “rural”, it’s imperative that we find ways to provide resources to these communities.
Chiloquin, Oregon has a population of around 1,000 people and has a rich history as the ancestral homelands and current administrative headquarters of the Klamath Tribes. Willamette Partnership was initially approached by a Tribal Council member to see if we could help support the creation of a Green Schoolyard project alongside partners like the Trust for Public Land and Klamath Co. School District.
How We’re Working Towards Green Schoolyards
After the initial project partners were gathered, we were able to provide administrative support, technical assistance, and capacity building to keep the project moving forward. In addition to staff support, we were also able to grant dollars to pay for project design, develop a community engagement strategy, and hire a local community member as a Project Coordinator. Initially humble in scope initially, the project expanded to include space for native habitat restoration and a publicly-accessible walking path. In partnership with the other organizations involved, we wrote grants, met with funders, and helped raise over $1,000,000 to fund the construction of the schoolyard.
The project also helped pave the way for increased funding and support for the community of Chiloquin. We supported the City in pursuing, writing, and receiving an Oregon Community Paths Grant to build an off-road walking path that connects one side of town to the schoolyard, and the School District committed to renovating the high school’s football field that sits adjacent to the green schoolyard.
Project partners ribbon cutted the Chiloquin Green Schoolyard in August 2022!
Video of Chiloquin Elementary School Green Schoolyard Groundbreaking / The Trust for Public Lands
Learn more about the completed Chiloquin Green Schoolyard project and the three new initiatives at the Oregon Community Schoolyard website.
Have questions about Green Schoolyards?
Barton Robison | Partner, Program Development
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