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Transforming Schoolyards

The Community Design Collaborative has created conceptual plans for close to 40 schoolyards, including 30 neighborhood public schools in the School District of Philadelphia. 
Conceptual design for Southwark Elementary School's Dragon Green

The Collaborative's work with schools and communities supports Philadelphia Water's campaign to make schoolyards an active part of the city's stormwater management plan, Green City, Clean Waters. Philadelphia Water has been an essential partner in half of our projects, funding improvements to reinvent asphalt and concrete schoolyards as green, eco-friendly spaces for learning as well as play.

The information you find here and in our design guide will help both schools and communities who are ready to seek a Design Grant from the Collaborative for a schoolyard project or who want to know how to do a green schoolyard project. 

  • Case Studies share the stories of three schools with different resources, scales, and budgets who worked with the Collaborative and implemented schoolyard projects.
  • Design Elements is a comprehensive, illustrated list of ideas Collaborative volunteers have integrated into schoolyard projects over the years, and explores how these elements can benefit students.
  • Steps to a Green Schoolyard breaks down the broader process that nonprofit school groups will undergo, from community organizing and the conceptual planning that the Collaborative provides, to later phases of fundraising, implementation, and stewardship.


Download a copy of the guide

In 2015, the Collaborative and Philadelphia Water published Transforming Philadelphia's Schoolyards, a design guide to greening schoolyards. You will find some of the information from the guide on our website, along with current information about our schoolyards projects and useful resources. Download your copy of the full guide here: 



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