Winner: 2016 Excellence in Green Stormwater Infrastructure Award from the Sustainable Business Network of Philadelphia
Lea Elementary School was the recipient of a Stormwater Management Incentive Program grant from the Philadelphia Water Department focused on school greening. Renovations to this public city school yard in West Philadelphia concentrated on capturing and infiltrating stormwater, as well as increasing tree canopy to reduce the impact of urban heat island.In addition to the improved ecological functions of the site, this project uses the landscape to reinforce the identity of Lea Elementary and transform a once barren field of asphalt into a vibrant, engaging, educational, and forward-thinking schoolyard.
SALT DESIGN STUDIO's plan for the Lea school yard combines a series of multi-purpose interventions that give teachers and students flexibility for play and education, and at the same time, maximize stormwater management practices. The “Journey of Diversity” is the design concept that ties together the diverse population of the Lea School neighborhood with the communal story of water. The “Journey” refers to the migration of the individual to this neighborhood and the voyage of the raindrop from sky to earth. Our shared urban environment is the physical meeting ground for many different communities – people, plants and wildlife – and all the Lea community plays a role in its stewardship.