Good news in the district

District and City officials celebrated the schools at an event on Nov, 4 at the Southwark School, one of the 13 schools recognized.-PHOTO BY PHILADELPHIA WATER DEPARTMENT.

School District recognized as pioneer in stormwater management

The Philadelphia Water Department is honoring the School District of Philadelphia as its 2021 Stormwater Pioneer, celebrating 13 public schools that are champions of green stormwater infrastructure (GSI).

The Water Department has recognized a Stormwater Pioneer annually since 2014 to honor partners demonstrating innovation, excellence, and the ability to overcome technical challenges to improve the environment and reduce stormwater runoff.

This year's pioneer schools include: Alexander Adaire Elementary School, Chester A. Arthur School, Edwin M. Stanton School, Henry C. Lea Elementary School, John M. Patterson School, John H. Taggart Elementary School, Martin Luther King High School, Mayfair Elementary School, Motivation High School, Southwark School, Warren G. Harding Middle School, William Cramp School and the William Dick School.

“As one of the largest landowners in the city, we are committed to bringing more green spaces to our schools and raise awareness about green infrastructure,” said School District superintendent William Hite in a statement.

“We are grateful to the Philadelphia Water Department and Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center for their support in creating spaces and educational opportunities that benefit the environment and ultimately the health of our students and their communities.”

Designed to reduce waterway pollution while beautifying communities, green infrastructure has been integrated into the landscape of Philadelphia schoolyards and school curriculum.

The School District has been a fundamental partner in the 25-year Green City, Clean Water's plan, launched in 2011 to improve local waterway health using primarily green stormwater systems backed by investments in traditional infrastructure.

All 13 schools volunteered to build green stormwater infrastructure through the Water Department’s Stormwater Grants Program, which helps fund the design and construction of stormwater retrofit projects on non-residential properties in Philadelphia.

Stormwater retrofit projects provide an opportunity for new landscaping, improved drainage, and property beautification. After a project is complete, the property owner qualifies for lower stormwater charges on their monthly bill through the Stormwater Credits Program.

Located in a diverse collection of neighborhoods, the 13 schools have all shown exceptional commitment to maintenance, education and community engagement around green stormwater infrastructure.

“We are committed to investing in our youth, and education is an essential element of our Green City, Clean Waters plan,” said Philadelphia Water Department Commissioner Randy E. Hayman Esq. in a statement.

“These school investments do astounding work to help reach our goals. They protect our water while giving our children a direct link to green spaces that allow them to learn hands-on about the environment and why we need to do our part.”

The schools being recognized are among 38 public schools with green stormwater features. Approximately five new schools are added to that roster each year, helping to improve water quality and giving students new learning tools.

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