Green Schools

Green stormwater infrastructure at schools manages stormwater runoff and provides educational opportunities and enhanced recreational amenities for students and the surrounding community.

children play in the green schoolyard at Greenfield Elementary, with porous play surfaces underfoot, rain gardens around the perimeter, and buildings of center city visible in the background.

Schools cover more than 1,400 acres in Philadelphia’s combined sewer area, and 67% of these school sites are covered in impervious surfaces such as rooftops and asphalt paving. The Philadelphia Water Department is working with the School District of Philadelphia, private schools, charter schools, faith-based schools, and parents and Friends of Schools groups, in addition to many other partners, to implement green stormwater infrastructure projects in Philadelphia’s schoolyards.

Investing the time to improve stormwater management in your community not only helps protect our invaluable drinking water sources, but will also help green the city, restore our waterways and improve quality of life for all citizens. The health of a stream depends on the quality of the land surrounding it, which in turn relies on the people charged with the care of that land.

PWD and our partners have developed A Guide to Stormwater Management on School Campuses that discuss what schools can do!

As a small first step, schools can receive a free rain barrel wrapped with artwork through our Wrapped Rain Barrel Program. Unfortunately, many schools have internal downspouts, making it impossible to install the rain barrel, so check to see if your school has an external downspout that isn’t made of cast iron before contacting us.

Storm Drain Marking

School groups (and anyone else!) can help protect our city’s waterways from pollution by placing storm drain markers in your neighborhood.  

GreenSTEM Network

The greenSTEM Network connects students to the environment by monitoring and mining data from schoolyard gardens and green stormwater infrastructure

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