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Manage Stormwater

Because every neighborhood has a school, every schoolyard presents an opportunity to reduce water pollution and prevent flooding—vital issues not only in a city like Philadelphia, but also nationwide.

In urban areas, stormwater runoff usually carries surface pollution that—without strategic green infra­structure—strains sewers and flows into streams and rivers. Many of our plans promote elements such as rain gardens, so that vegetation can trap and filter stormwater onsite. Incorporating sustainable elements within schoolyards can empower students to play a part in shaping their city’s future—one with clean, attractive waterways and a safe, afford­able water supply. 

SMIP grants for Philadelphia Schools

In Philadelphia, schools can receive funding as part of the Green City, Clean Waters initiative by the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD). This strategic 25-year plan supports green infrastructure to manage stormwater in a more natural way and reduces impacts on the sewer system and waterways.

Examples of our work

The images below show designs for several schools that promote green approaches to stormwater management. 

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When planning and designing a schoolyard that will manage stormwater, consider these elements:

  • green roof
  • rain gardens/bioswales
  • green screen
  • porous paving
  • green streets
  • rain barrels


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