Greening Greenfield (Schuylkill Action Students)

The Albert M. Greenfield School is an elementary school in center city Philadelphia. They received a grant in 2010 from the Philadelphia Water Department funding for $50,000 to complete a stormwater management project in their south schoolyard.

Proving that schools can be environmentally responsible, can provide healthy places to learn and play, and can take an active role in community improvement, a group of parents, teachers, students, and school administrators, with the help of the Community Design Collaborative and the Philadelphia School District, started to develop this plan in 2006 to transform the exterior of the Greenfield School property. The school yard, which was a sparsely landscaped asphalt yard referred to as the “parking lot,” is well on its way to becoming a vibrant green space designed to exemplify ecological stewardship.

The improvements included the installation of a storm water management system with an indigenous Pennsylvania woodland forest garden, removal of impervious pavement, permeable recycled play surface, an agriculture zone, and solar shading. A storm water bioretention area with a rain garden was also installed in the completed South Play Yard Improvements now capture runoff from 97% of the play yard – the water is infiltrated and absorbed by the areas of the site that have been converted from impervious asphalt areas to either porous materials or planted areas.

This project is a great example of the successful impact and unifying efforts that partnership can play in a project. Funding partners included the Philadelphia Water Department, PA Dept. of Environmental Protection, the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation, the Philadelphia School District and many others.


Work Group: Stormwater

Source of Funding: Schuylkill River Restoration Fund, PADEP Growing Greener, Albert Greenfield Foundation

Date of Completion: 2010

Leading Organization: Community Design Collaborative, Philadelphia Water Department