Students and faculty of Adair Elementary School in Fishtown were joined Tuesday by Superintendent William Hite and City Council President Darrell Clarke for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the school’s new green space, which gives students a great place to play that is environmentally friendly.
The schoolyard was revitalized due to the efforts of a partnership among the School District of Philadelphia; the city's Departments of Water and Parks & Recreation; Friends of Adaire, a volunteer group of Fishtown community members; and the Trust for Public Land, a nonprofit group working to create parks and protect land to ensure healthy, livable communities.
The project cost $1 million and broke ground in February.
“I am excited that all of the young people will have this space,” Hite said. “But I am equally excited that we created the template for how these organizations can come together and do something in short order.”
The yard at the K-8 school will serve the community. It features equipment designed to capture and reuse stormwater, a large rain garden with a nature trail, a toddler playground, and seating where residents can gather.
The new green space is a step forward in the District’s Green Futures initiative, an effort to increase sustainability throughout the District by reducing consumption and waste, improving energy efficiency, and creating green schoolyards at every school.
Adaire is the latest school to receive a green schoolyard; they’ve opened previously at William Dick School, William Cramp School, John Taggart School and Nebinger Elementary School. The District hopes to bring green schoolyards to five schools every year.
Keogh Best, a 5th grader at Adaire, said he’s enjoying the schoolyard’s rubber playground surface, a welcome upgrade from the blacktop that preceded it.
“It’s great. I’ve been waiting a long time,” he said. “It’s fun to fall and not get an injury like on the blacktop.”