Salina Elementary

Dearborn Green Schoolyards at Salina Elementary

The Dearborn Green Schoolyards initiative is a result of the district and City of Dearborn’s commitment to clean air, clean water, and clean energy sources for all citizens. Our focus is to connect our children to nature through nature-based learning, to educate them about their environment, and help them learn how to continue to conserve environmental resources.  Our children need nature-based experiences and activities to strengthen their physical, mental and emotional health. Children will be happier and well balanced through time spent outdoors.

Salina Elementary has a beautiful garden where students work every day. The garden was donated by University of Michigan/Dearborn and Wayne State University and the district. The school team has a campus plan for expanding their Green Schoolyard. Green Schoolyards are outdoor environments that strengthen local ecological systems, provide learning opportunities, and foster a wide range of play and social opportunities while enhancing health and well-being. These schoolyards include trees, gardens, rain gardens, landscaping and play spaces, and resources designed for the students and the community. See these links for examples of nature playscapes and outdoor classrooms. Green Schoolyards also provide space for community members to use during non school hours.

The Green Schoolyards priority goals are Nature Playscapes for children to explore and play, climb, crawl, spin, swing, slide, and develop balance, flexibility and agility-all foundations for learning. Outdoor Classrooms are also a goal and these shelters will allow children to learn outside.

Many community organizations contribute to Green Schoolyards. Click here for a video on the benefit that the InterCultural Community Center in Dearborn (ICCD) hosted to support benches for Green Schoolyards. ACCESS is a partner in Green Schoolyards along with the City of Dearborn.

Friends of Green Schoolyards Volunteer Organization

The Salina Schools have volunteer programs for many different activities. The Green Schoolyards team seek business, school, family and resident partners to support the nature-focused learning initiative. Activities could be working in the garden, garden clean up, reading with the students, being with children during outdoor time and many other activities. Friends of GSY also seek volunteers to support with planting trees, shrubs, grasses and playscape installations. Click here to email the GSY Volunteer Coordinator, a retired Dearborn staff member who volunteers to coordinate this initiative.

Email Susan Stanley at

The Dearborn Education Foundation is helping our schools collect funds for this project. Please consider making a donation on the link below. See the table below for acknowledgement of the generous friends and partners who are helping to make the dream of outdoor education and play for Salina children a reality. Their generosity and vision are valued. In-kind donations are welcomed. Individuals and groups can contribute financially at the green link below, or contribute directly to Dearborn Public Schools.

Giving Circles

Golden Tree Circle
City of Dearborn
Friends of the Rouge

University of Michigan/Dearborn/Wayne State University: DSHINES Gardens
Silver Birch Circle
Cleveland Cliffs Foundation
Dearborn Sausage
CMS Energy Foundation
Bronze Tree Circle 
Dearborn Community Fund: POP Mural
Sequoia Circle
ACCESS: Musical Garden
Home Depot: Garden supplies
Evergreen Circle
Edw. C. Levy Co
Partner Circle
Southender (alumni)
InterCultural Community Center of Dearborn
Players Guild: Bench
Boy Scouts: Bench
The Exchange Club of Dearborn
Friend Circle
In kind donation
Friends of the Rouge- 200 Trees, Rain Garden
Home Depot-Garden Supplies
Players Guild: Bench/Elementary
Boy Scouts: Bench/Intermediate
University of Michigan/Dearborn Wayne State University: DSHINES Gardens
ACCESS: Musical Garden
Dearborn Community Fund: POP Mural
Edw. C. Levy Co.: future concrete removal

The Salina Story

ICCD Fundraiser

Kickoff Slide Show

Strategic Plan

Concept Map of Green Schoolyards

Benefits of Nature

Children’s Nature Network

Resources for Connecting Children and Nature

Nature playscapes (examples)

Outdoor Classrooms (examples)