The Big SandBox (TBS) leverages the combined experiences of Jake Gaffigan, a builder, consumer advocate, green urban infill specialist, and community developer, and Lois Brink, a landscape architect, professor, and founder of Learning Landscapes. TBS’s goal is to utilize its knowledge and expertise for organizing the collective impact of government, community, and nonprofit organizations seeking to fund and construct schoolyards. With a mission focused on cultivating large-scale community change, TBS supports model projects and initiatives that begin at the local and neighborhood level, TBS’s constituency is racially, ethnically, and economically diverse, and the majority of its work occurs in under-represented, under-served, and marginalized communities. Currently, The Big SandBox is working on projects at various stages of development in Philadelphia, Denver, and Portland.
In just three short years, The Big SandBox has become a leader in the green schoolyard movement by building community partnerships across the spectrum. In Philadelphia, The Big SandBox has raised more than half-a-million dollars in public and private funds and is now actively involved with 20 schoolyards in various stages of development.