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Children’s Activity Book Communicates Benefits of Green Roofs

on February 23, 2016 at 3:29 pm under

Guest Post By Kelly Ksiazek and Olyssa Starry

Ever feel like trying to understand the science research regarding green infrastructure is like deciphering a foreign language?  Have you wished there was a resource that explained all the benefits of green roofs in an easy and fun format – like one even a fifth grader could understand?


This resource is now here.  Growing Up in the City: A Book About Green Roofs is a children’s paperback available worldwide to help teach young and old about the many benefits that green roofs provide to people and the other organisms that share our cities.


The book follows friendly bumble bees as they learn about a new type of habitat they can use in the city –green roofs!  Designed by a scientist/educator team and beautifully illustrated to bring the concepts to life, this resource is part story-book, part educational tool.  Written according to the U.S. national science standards, the activities include temperature reading, coloring, a crossword puzzle, counting, a word search and even a board game.  After completing most of the book, the reader can even try his or her hand at designing their own green roof or carrying out a mini research project.


Growing Up in the City is already being used as an educational resource in schools as well as in botanical gardens and summer workshops.  The targeted age range is 8-12, but many lessons have relevance to folks of all ages.  For more info about how to purchase this book, please click here.

All proceeds are used to provide books to schools and non-profit programs.  For more information or to download an electronic copy for educational purposes, please visit our website, Greening Up The City.

~ Kelly Ksiazek and Olyssa Starry


Publisher’s Note: The 24-page Growing Up in the City: A Book About Green Roofs is a wonderful, interactive resource to teach kids the importance of our built environment and some of the many advantages of greening our rooftops.  Nicely illustrated, it’s quite in-depth and detailed for an activity book.  And with bumblebees venturing into the city as their guides, Kelly and Olyssa make learning about greenroofs fun!  I highly recommend it for all, and in fact I’ll purchase a copy for my grandson, Nicky, so he can take it to share with his 1st grade class.  You can also buy it in’s Bookstore from


Kelly Ksiazek is a researcher at the Chicago Botanic Garden and Northwestern University with M.S. degrees in both Science Education and Plant Biology & Conservation.  She is passionate about finding ways to encourage conservation of prairie plants in urban habitats, especially on green roofs.  She is a part-time instructor for Loyola University’s Institute of Environmental Sustainability and a former high school science teacher.

Olyssa Starry is an assistant professor at Portland State University where she teaches urban ecology in the Honors College.  She studies and models the effects of green roof design and maintenance on stormwater management and biodiversity.  Years ago, she was a teacher and organizer for the Boston Urban Ecology Institute’s after school program.

Contact Kelly and Olyssa at or visit


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