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Educational/Child Care Lands and Spaces

We want children to be outside for their physical, social, cognitive and emotional developmental needs. It is also important that children enjoy the sun safely when outdoors.

Children are more at risk for skin damage from the sun's ultraviolet radiation because they:

  • Have thin skin
  • Are outside more than any other age groups
  • Are outdoors during times when the sun's rays are the strongest (April - September, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.)

One of the most effective ways of protecting students, staff, family, and community members from ultraviolet radiation is to provide shade where they play, work, and gather.


How can a sun-safe environment be created with shade?

Non-profit groups/funders can increase shade on educational lands by including a shade requirement (including a completed shade audit) in grant applications.

School boards, schools, and child care facilities can create a sun-safe environment by:

  • Creating awareness among staff, children, and parents to seek shade as a sun-safe practice
  • Developing and using sun protection and shading policies and procedures
  • Doing a shade audit to determine if there is enough shade on the following spaces:
    • playgrounds (climbers and play equipment)
    • sand play areas
    • seating and gathering spaces
    • around the playing fields
    • drop-off and pick-up zones
  • Use the results from the shade audit to determine where shade trees should be planted or built structures installed

Use the following resources to start or enhance your own shade strategy.


Building the case for shade

Gaining Ground: The Power and Potential of School Ground Greening in the Toronto District School Board - Evergreen

Landscape and Child Development. A Design Guide for Early Years-Kindergarten Play-Learning Environments - Evergreen and Toronto District School Board

A Healthy Dose of Green- Trees Ontario


Shade policy development

Shade Policy Fact Sheet - Shade Work Group of Waterloo Region, Region of Waterloo, Evergreen, and Canadian Cancer Society

Shade for Kids. A Policy Primer for School Boards - Evergreen


Shade policy examples

Sun Safety and Shading Policy - Waterloo Region District School Board

Sun and Extreme Temperature Procedure - Avon Maitland District School Board


Assessing, planning, and installing shade

Shade Design Fact Sheet - Shade Work Group of Waterloo Region, Region of Waterloo, Evergreen, and Canadian Cancer Society

Shade Audit Information Guide + Tool. A Guide for Creating Shady Outdoor Spaces - Shade Work Group of Waterloo Region and Region of Waterloo

Designing for Shade and Energy Conservation - Ontario EcoSchools

Shade Planning for America's Schools - Centre for Disease Control

Shade Tree List- Shade Work Group of Waterloo Region and Region of Waterloo

Built Shade Shelters - Evergreen

Under Cover: Guidelines for Shade Planning and Design - NSW Cancer Council and NSW Health Department

Landscape and Child Development. A Design Guide for Early Years-Kindergarten Play-Learning Environments - Evergreen and Toronto District School Board


Care and maintenance of your trees

Mulch is Magic! - Evergreen

The Bucket Method: Watering Guidelines for Newly Planted Trees - Evergreen


Funding grants

Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds School Ground Greening Grants

Evergreen Projects - Green Grants

TD Friends of the Environment Foundation Funding

Region of Waterloo Community Environmental Fund

More shade and greening funding opportunities

Also, check your local community foundations and environmental groups

 

For more information, call 519-575-4400 or email the Public Health General Inquiries

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