The Backyard Takes Center Stage in Everyday Life, Says the TurfMutt Foundation

From Workspace to Classroom, Dining and More – the Backyard Bridges Indoor and Outdoor Living

Alexandria, Va. — What once only happened indoors, now happens outdoors. From office work to working out, from eating to entertaining, if these activities were once usually held inside a home or office, they are now being brought to the great outdoors. Simply think back over the last year and recount the number of times your backyard has taken center stage in your everyday life. The family yard became the safe and purposeful space where we could gather and recharge.

“Spending time outdoors is great for your physical and mental health, and our backyards are the bridge between indoor and outdoor living,” explains Kris Kiser, President & CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and the TurfMutt Foundation. “The boundaries to ‘backyarding’ are only limited by our imaginations, and we expect people to take outdoor living to a whole new level now that spring is here.”

Here are just a few ways the backyard has blurred the lines between indoor and outdoor living. Which ones have you implemented?

  1. The best video call backdrop, naturally. No need to turn to technology to create a virtual backdrop for video calls. The natural setting created by your yard’s living landscape – trees, flowers, bushes and other plants – is the best video call background, bar none. 
  2. No classroom? No problem. Your backyard or park is a living laboratory for learning. Take online classes under the shade of a tree. Do homework at a patio or picnic table. Brush up on STEM education by planting and studying flowers, bug hunting, and weather watching. The family yard and community green spaces support outdoor learning, even when school isn’t in session. 
  3. A truly “green” spa. The healing power of nature is only a few steps away. Let stress blow away in the breeze as you swing in a hammock. Clear your mind with a few breaths of fresh air. Meditate to the sounds of nature. Do yoga to the soundtrack of songbirds. Make your lawn your exercise mat. The best “green” spa is the one in your own backyard. 
  4. Five-star event space. The pandemic made traditional celebrations and gatherings challenging, but the backyard came to the rescue time and time again. Graduation parties. Family reunions. Birthday celebrations. Holiday gatherings. Reconnecting with friends. The family yard and community park are five-star event spaces that are always easy to book!
  5. Setting the stage for backyarding. One final and important note to backyarders. Creating a yard that supports all of the aspects of your family’s outdoor lifestyle means taking stock of what you might need to care for your lawn. Take an inventory of your outdoor power equipment to make sure you are prepared. Then, get out there and create your canvas for even more backyard memory-making. 

To get inspired to “backyard more” in the seasons ahead, go to To sign up for Mutt Mail, TurfMutt’s monthly e-newsletter with TurfMutt Foundation news and backyarding tips, go to:

About TurfMutt
TurfMutt was created by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute's (OPEI) TurfMutt Foundation and has reached more than 70 million children, educators and families since 2009. Through classroom materials developed with Scholastic, TurfMutt teaches students and teachers how to "save the planet, one yard at a time." TurfMutt is an official USGBC® Education Partner and part of their global LEARNING LAB. TurfMutt is an education resource at the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green Apple, the Center for Green Schools, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids, the National Energy Education Development (NEED) project, Climate Change Live, Petfinder and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In 2017, the TurfMutt animated video series won the coveted Cynopsis Kids Imagination Award for Best Interstitial Series. TurfMutt's personal, home habitat is featured in the 2017-2020 Wildlife Habitat Council calendars. More information at

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