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Fishtown Schoolyard To Become Green Space

by Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- An asphalt schoolyard at the Alexander Adaire School in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia (at Thompson and Palmer Streets), is being transformed into a green space.

Like many older Philadelphia schools, Adaire has impervious surfaces, including its rundown asphalt paving.

Adair Schoolyard Render green space
Schoolyard concept design by Ian Smith Design Group for Friends of Adaire. Rendering by Kirk Fromm. (Courtesy of The Trust for Public Land)

The $700,000 infrastructure project includes upgraded play equipment, and climate-smart trees and a rain garden to reduce storm-water runoff.

Schools Superintendent Dr. William Hite says that's a bonus for students.

"This is not just a recreational space, but it's a green space, and importantly, it's a learning space," Hite said.

The Philadelphia Water Department's Jessica Brooks says the rain garden at Adaire is designed to handle up to 70,000 gallons of storm water, every time it rains up to an inch in Fishtown.

"And also to help protect the Delaware River from any of the runoff that may have made its way down there," said Brooks.

City Managing Director Mike DiBerardinis says they hope to complete similar green projects at seven public schools and five recreation centers later this year.

All told the non-profit, The Trust for Public Land, plans on transforming 30 Philadelphia schoolyards and rec centers.

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