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Presenting... Our 2012 Community Design Award

  • The Collaborative recognized volunteers and community leaders for their  efforts to green Weccacoe Playground and Nebinger Elementary School at the AIA Philadelphia's Awards for Design Excellence.

Every year, the Community Design Collaborative recognizes a team of volunteers and community representative for their work together on a service grant.  In October, at AIA Philadelphia's Excellence in Design Celebration, the Collaborative honored the teams behind Weccacoe Playground and the Nebinger schoolyard for their efforts to reinvent open space as greener, more animated places to gather, learn, play, and grow.

These collaborations had a strong focus on community engagement, sustainable design, and stormwater management—and  led to  substantial project funding. They will serve as models for enhancing open space in neighborhoods across Philly.


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The conceptual plan for Nebinger School created a schoolyard greening strategy that includes a rain garden, outdoor classroom, edible garden, a quiet green space that supports the inclusion of children with special needs, and an active play area with a lawn and tumbling hill.  Since the completion of the plan, the school has received a total of $400,000 in grants from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Partnership for Delaware Estuary, the Brazilian Ministry, and the City of Philadelphia.


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Weccacoe Playground advocates worked with the Collaborative to develop a sustainable new vision for the playground that includes a water spray area, a back-to-nature obstacle course, and twenty new trees.  Green stormwater infrastructure is an integral part of the recommended renovations. Recently, the City of Philadelphia committed over $500,000 in funding to Weccacoe as part of Philadelphia Parks and Recreation’s Green2015 initiative to green recreation centers and schoolyards.

Congratulations to our 2012 Community Design Award Recipients

GEORGE W. NEBINGER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL Studio Gaea, LLC Kimberlee Douglas, ASLA,  Alexandra Zahn, AIA, ASLA

Elwell Studio Jason Elwell, AIA, ASLA

Torcon, Inc. Anthony Armento , Angela Cirino

Nicole Hotstettler

George W. Nebinger Elementary School Ralph Burnley, Principal

Bella Vista Town Watch Charles Moleski

WECCACOE PLAYGROUND Austin + Mergold LLC Jason Austin, LEED AP, Jessica Brown, Ann Dinh, Sally Reynolds, ASLA, Kelly Tigera

Gardner Fox Associates Joanna Baker,  Patrick Baker

Queen Village Neighbors Association Walter Lowthian


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