The Green Street Challenge is a day-long event that creates the opportunity to celebrate the importance of outdoor, unstructured play by laying down sod and creating temporary parks on prominent streets in communities across North America. It is sponsored by Come Alive Outside, a 501c3 nonprofit organization that works closely with partners in the landscape profession, as well as college horticulture and landscape architecture departments, in order to get people off the couch and back outside in communities across North America. Its mission is to inspire collaborative community systems that create the awareness, intention, and opportunity for people to live healthier lives outside.
TPI Board of Trustees member John Coombs decided to get involved after hearing a “Come Alive Outside” presentation at a recent TPI event. As a result, at 5am on May 27th, 2017 Coombs Sod Farm delivered 6,000 sq ft of Kentucky bluegrass sod to Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania to be laid on Monroe Street prior to the 8am opening of the Saturday Morning Farmer’s market. Hula hoops, straw bales, balls of various kinds, lawn games, and more were provided for kids and their families to just enjoy the day.
One attendee and mother stated to a reporter, “It’s good to explore because nowadays you don’t see kids playing with toys or just outside enjoying. Everybody is in front of a
screen, and I look back to my childhood and I loved just running outside.” Another person stated, “What a great project, thank you!”
Come Alive Outside has plans for 12 events in 2017 in Canada and is looking to expand further into the United States in 2018. For more information on their organization and future Green Street Challenges, please check out their website at https://comealiveoutside.com/greenstreet/.