Posted by Linda Dottor
Yesterday’s column by Philadelphia Inquirer’s Monica Yant Kinney’s praised the Cook-Wissahickon School in Roxborough as a public school success. The school is a stand-out for its embrace of excellence, diversity, and (with an assist from the Community Design Collaborative) sustainability.
As a big fan of the nearby Custard Stand, I’ve had many chances to gaze at the unprepossessing grounds of the school, locked in a sea of asphalt in a leafy neighborhood within the Wissahickon Watershed. Apparently, teachers, school families, and members of the larger community were bothered by the same disconnect. Together they formed a Green Committee to make Cook-Wissahickon the first retrofitted green school in Philadelphia. A big part of their strategy is to make the school grounds sustainable, environmentally-responsible, and beautiful.
Cook-Wissahickon received a grant of services from the Community Design Collaborative in 2008, and Collaborative volunteers Tavis Dockwiller and Suzanna Fabry of Manayunk-based Viridian Landscape Studio and John Frondorf of Becker & Frondorf recently wrapped up a sustainable landscape master plan for the school. The Green Committee has already dug into its first greening project, a “baby tree” nursery in the kindergarten play area. The trees will either be sold or transplanted elsewere on the campus.