More News:

November 07, 2021

13 Philly schools recognized for green schoolyards

The School District is celebrated as the Water Department's 2021 "Stormwater Pioneer"

Environment Water Department
School District Water Department Thom Carroll/For PhillyVoice

Under new legislation School District of Philadelphia is required to to replace drinking fountains in School District of Philadelphia (SPD) schools with lead-filtering hydration stations by 2025.

The School District of Philadelphia is the Water Department's 2021 Stormwater Pioneer, according to an announcement released Thursday. A total of 13 public schools across Philadelphia were recognized for their grant-funded green stormwater infrastructure, and the ways they have been able to maintain their green spaces and schoolyards in innovative ways. 

The water department created Green City Clean Waters in 2011 to reduce stormwater infiltration in sewers in order to meet state and federal regulations. The green stormwater infrastructure initiative is one step in a larger, 25-year plan to reach these pollution reduction goals by 2036. 

Part of the water department's plan includes prioritizing the School District of Philadelphia and fostering partnerships in order to utilize their school campuses for green infrastructure initiatives, according to Green City, Clean Waters. 

Each of the schools recognized by the water department voluntarily received grant money to fund these stormwater projects, with a focus on keeping schools beautiful while also reducing stormwater bills for the School District and helping steer the city closer to their pollution goals. 

Green infrastructure implemented at some of these schools include rain gardens, stormwater basins, and depaving, among others. These efforts can allow for less polluted runoff entering storm drains or the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers, while also keeping school yards beautiful and usable. 

"Each [acre] soaking up 27,000 gallons," City water commissioner Randy Hayman told KYW Newsradio. "Now, that is a SEPTA bus-sized load of polluted runoff during a one-inch storm. That's huge!"

The schools recognized by the Water Department include: 

• Chester A. Arthur School

• Henry C. Lea Elementary School

• Martin Luther King High School

• William Dick School

• Mayfair Elementary School

• John M. Patterson School

• John H. Taggart Elementary School

• Edwin M. Stanton School

• Motivation High School

• Adaire Elementary School

• Harding Middle School

• Southwark School

• Cramp School

38 schools are taking part in the green stormwater infrastructure partnership, with a goal to add five additional schools each year, according to the Water Department.