Helping Schools in Houston Create Outdoor Learning Spaces
To support local communities, the Republic Services Charitable Foundation leads initiatives to give back and support our neighborhoods. Launched in 2018, the National Neighborhood Promise® program provides funding, in-kind products and services, and volunteer opportunities to select nonprofit organizations leading neighborhood revitalization projects across the country.
Since its creation, National Neighborhood Promise has supported nearly 60 unique projects in neighborhoods the company serves. From enhancing parks to improving community centers and revitalizing other public places and spaces, National Neighborhood Promise helps neighborhoods thrive.
In 2020, the Foundation provided a National Neighborhood Promise grant to Avenue CDC, a builder of homes and communities in Houston, Texas, that makes investments in people and places that promote vibrant, inclusive neighborhoods.
With support from the Foundation, Avenue is creating spaces where students can thrive through outdoor play and learning, and through beautification and repair projects at eight Houston schools.
- Lyons Elementary School: Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Avenue transformed an abandoned space at Lyons Elementary. Bringing in color and fun, they created a space where students can explore, create, and play. Additionally, they cleaned up and beautified the entire area with painted railings, new plants, trees, and flowers. The result is an incredible space that more than 1,000 students at the school can enjoy.
- Northline Elementary School: Home to students and animals – like chickens, hens, and rabbits – Northline Elementary needed a space better suited to meet the needs of both. Avenue redesigned the space by removing debris and creating a sensory playground. The playground included fun, brightly colored shapes made from recycled materials, herb and flower gardens, a music corner featuring a xylophone, fruit trees, and a variety of rich textures, like rocks, wood, and artificial grass.
- Durkee Elementary School: With a focus on refreshing the exterior of Durkee Elementary, Avenue covered graffiti, cleaned up the area, and removed trash and debris. Once everything was clean, the nonprofit went above and beyond to beautify the space. Planting trees and flowers helped to brighten the exterior. Additionally, they painted both corridors at the entrance of the school, refreshed metal picnic tables around the area, and retouched the benches.
- Farias EarlyChildhood: After a budget shortfall, the once highly recognized garden at Farias EarlyChildhood needed repair. To help, Avenue focused on revitalizing the garden with low-maintenance and low-cost improvements. The result was the Desert Garden, which serves as a beautiful, outdoor gathering space for children, families, and staff of the school. The garden includes education points, so students can learn about the diversity of desert plants, and a fun maze, giving kids the opportunity to challenge themselves while interacting with nature.
- Janowski Elementary School: With the hope of creating a functional, outdoor space for students and teachers, Avenue upgraded a neglected area at Janowski Elementary. The project transformed a run-down courtyard into a certified wildlife habitat that will also serve as an outdoor classroom throughout the year. The space will be used to teach students about ecosystems, the lifecycle of frogs and other animals, and simple yet sustainable practices.
Over the next few months, Avenue will be completing its final three projects at Burbank Elementary School, Fonville Middle School, and YES PREP Northline Campus.
Funding the projects that Avenue is facilitating at schools in the Houston area is just one example of Republic Services Charitable Foundation’s commitment to improve communities and support neighborhood spaces and places.
To learn more about the Republic Services Charitable Foundation, visit republicservices.com/giving.