Posted on November 4, 2021
Categories: News from SDP

School District Recognized as Pioneer in Stormwater Management

13 Public Schools across the City Highlighted for Green Stormwater Infrastructure

PHILADELPHIA — Today, the Philadelphia Water Department presented the School District of Philadelphia with its 2021 Stormwater Pioneers Award, celebrating the District’s 13 public schools that have become champions of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI). Every year since 2014, the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) has recognized a Stormwater Pioneer to honor a partner demonstrating innovation, excellence, and the ability to overcome technical challenges to improve the environment and reduce stormwater runoff.

District and City officials celebrated the schools today at Southwark School, one of the pioneer schools that features green stormwater systems.

Green infrastructure has been integrated into the landscape of Philadelphia schoolyards and curriculums to reduce waterway pollution while beautifying our communities. Since the start of Green City, Clean Waters 10 years ago, the School District of Philadelphia has been a fundamental partner in the 25-year plan to improve local waterway health using primarily green stormwater systems backed by investments in traditional infrastructure.

All 13 schools volunteered to build green stormwater infrastructure through PWD’s Stormwater Grants Program, which helps fund the design and construction of stormwater retrofit projects on non-residential properties in Philadelphia. Stormwater retrofit projects provide an opportunity for new landscaping, improved drainage, and property beautification. After a project is complete, the property owner qualifies for lower stormwater charges on their monthly bill through the Stormwater Credits Program.

Located in a diverse collection of neighborhoods, the 13 schools have all shown exceptional commitment to maintenance, education, and community engagement around green stormwater infrastructure.

“As one of the largest landowners in the city, we are committed to bringing more green spaces to our schools and raise awareness about green infrastructure,” said William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D. “ We are grateful to the Philadelphia Water Department andFairmount Water Works Interpretive Center for their support in creating spaces and educational opportunities that benefit the environment and ultimately the health of our students and their communities.”

Through Green City, Clean Waters, PWD collaborated with the School District of Philadelphia and the Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center to develop the Understanding the Urban Watershed curriculum that now accompanies GSI projects.

“We are committed to investing in our youth, and education is an essential element of our Green City, Clean Waters plan,” says Philadelphia Water Department Commissioner Randy E. Hayman, Esq. “These school investments do astounding work to help reach our goals. They protect our water while giving our children a direct link to green spaces that allow them to learn hands-on about the environment and why we need to do our part.”

“It’s really great to see after it’s built, a lot of the link to the curriculum, to the classroom and activities outside and continuing that,” says Stephanie Chiorean, PWD schools program partnership specialist. “I think a lot of those activities are typically related to learning but then also the stewardship side really can help reinforce some of those learning activities themselves.”

2021 Pioneer Schools

Alexander Adaire Elementary School
Chester A. Arthur School
Edwin M. Stanton School
Henry C. Lea Elementary School
John M. Patterson School
John H. Taggart Elementary School
Martin Luther King High School
Mayfair Elementary School
Motivation High School
Southwark School
Warren G. Harding Middle School
William Cramp School
William Dick School