Make room for nature and discovery in the schoolyards of Lons-le-Saunier

The Prévert school will benefit from a total renovation of its courtyard, where the best is given to nature.
The Prévert school will benefit from a total renovation of its courtyard, where the best is given to nature. (© City of Lons-le-Saunier)

The days when children had to train their imagination to play in concrete schoolyards are soon over; soon these will give way to experiments.

While the dominance of bitumen for several decades penetrated the recreational areas of schools, the new municipality wants to clear the way per. restoration of schoolyards. “When you think about everything there is to do in terms of urban renaturation, we felt it schoolyards were a priorityto show what could be done for as many people as possible, but also forpedagogical aspect of this action “, details Geoffrey Visimunicipal councilor delegated to the living environment and case manager.

“The primary objective, by removing the concrete and replacing it with draining materials, is to ensure that 100% of the rainwater penetrates the site, but also through restoration to have cool islands. For school children.”

Geoffrey VisiMunicipal board member with responsibility for living environment
In the summer of 2022, work will therefore begin, necessarily during the school holiday period.
In the summer of 2022, work will therefore begin, necessarily during the school holiday period. (© City of Lons-le-Saunier)

bysummer 2022the work will therefore begin, necessarily during the school holidays, in Prévert and Richebourg schools, before seeing the trees planted in the fall. “The first because the work had already been started there by the pedagogical team and the students, but also because we wanted to intervene in a priority district; and the second for budgetary reasons because the farm is smaller there. »

A wealth of space

of one total cost € 705,000, 80% subsidized, this work will make it possible to bring different spaces forward. “There will be one dynamic rangewith a multisport space, but which will no longer be in the middle of the court as it was before. ONE hard play area will also be installed, as well as one space for the bikea quieter area for resting or reading, with wooden furniture, or even one field of education for outdoor teaching. Without forgetting naturrumwith fruit trees and a kitchen garden, or even, at the Prévert school, a dry river with the possibility of running water through. »

On the hard playground side, the cushioning floor will also be revisited; go out of the plastic floor and place wood chips and gravel. And the chosen one assures us: “We have received really good feedback from other schools that have already experimented with these materials. »

“Degender” or “mixed use”?

While the Ledonian majority in the beginning, with regard to the renaturation of schoolyards, had expressed a desire to degrade them – ie. to remove any notion of space reserved for boys or girls – the latter quickly reversed his communication and preferred the term mixed use.
But during the last municipal council meeting on December 15, Grégory Sourd, an opposition municipal councilor, still wanted to put this vocabulary question back on the table. Asked a few days later, Geoffrey Visi, if he says he accepts the term degender, nevertheless acknowledges a development in municipal communication: “this term is too restrictive in terms of what we want to do; schoolyards are unbalanced, with the football field right in the middle, and therefore we would encourage mixed use.That a child, a girl or a boy can play ball if he wishes, without disturbing the others, who should also be able to have a privileged space for other quieter activities, such as reading or anything else. “

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All schoolyards at the end of the mandate

A renaturation of schoolyards, which in addition to the benefits for nature is also for the benefit of the students according to the local councilor responsible for living environment: “Some initial research on the subject has shown that a larger space for nature in schoolyards is beneficial for children’s health; these are too more peaceful. Not to mention the fact that today they regularly hear about climate regulation and the importance of nature; We also could not leave them with concrete and disinfected patios. Especially since not everyone is so lucky to be connected to nature; it is therefore important to be able to reconnect with the living. »

The first two schoolyards have been renatured, the municipality then aims to continue the work of the other school groups in the city, “with the aim of getting them all finished by the end of our mandate”, concludes Geoffrey Visi.

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