Posted on July 29, 2022
Categories: Environmental

Nearly two dozen educators braved the July heat wave to learn more about the urban watershed and how to incorporate the Philadelphia water story curriculum into their classrooms. The Fairmount Water Works and District developed the curriculum and was supported by the Green City Clean Waters Initiative of the Philadelphia Water Department.

The District’s Greenscapes efforts are spearheaded by District Sustainability Manager Megan Garner; Emma Melvin, the Green Infrastructure Project Manager from Operations; Paula Don, director of the District’s Gifted and Talented Program; and Ellen Schultz, associate director for education at Fairmount Waterworks.

The District partners regularly with Waterworks to provide classroom connections to the city’s green stormwater infrastructure – a system of managing stormwater runoff in ways that mimic the natural environment as much as possible.

The participating teachers spent a week of professional development at Glen Foerd Mansion in Northeast Philadelphia along the Delaware River. In addition, they took several field trips, including one to Hancock Demonstration School, where teacher Megan Kolla is helping to pilot a new Greenscapes Resource Guide.

Garner said a teacher student’s companion guide is also being developed along with it to help educators who are interested in greening their school help navigate the district and the process. The companion guide will help teachers integrate the curriculum and apply it to student action projects that connect to their school community and district and city-wide goals.

Professional development opportunities related to GreenFutures will continue monthly, beginning in October, focusing on teaching about climate change and what the city is doing to minimize the impact. Those courses are supported by Fairmount Waterworks, the Franklin Institute, Arizona State University, and the National Wildlife Foundation. While the curriculum is geared toward grades 4-9, Garner said all educators are welcome to participate.