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You can save water in your garden by planting less grass. Shrubs and ground cover provide year-round greenery with less water and maintenance.

Green Infrastructure at Five Boston Public Schools

In 2014, when Boston Public Schools ("BPS") announced that they would undertake a comprehensive Educational and Facility Master Planning process, the Commission approached BPS about collaborating on Green Infrastructure/Low Impact Development ("GI/LID") pilot projects. Pursuant to the Consent Decree, the Commission seeks opportunities to reduce phosphorus loading to the Charles River. Many of the Boston public schools are located within the tributary areas for the Upper/Middle and Lower Charles River. GI/LID installations at schools would not only help the Commission to reduce pollutant loading to the Charles, but also provide educational opportunities for City of Boston teachers and students.

The Commission and BPS undertook GI/LID pilot projects at five schools; the Washington Irving Middle School, Rafael Hernandez K-8 School, David A. Ellis Elementary School, Jackson/Mann K-8 School and Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers. Additionally, the Commission worked with a former BPS curriculum writer to author stormwater/GI curriculum for 5th and 7th grade, in accordance with the new MA Science and Technology/Engineering Standards, to accompany the five pilot projects.

Through the pilot projects and stormwater/GI curriculum, the Commission intends to build public awareness about green stormwater management. Beyond the pilot projects, GI/LID installed as part of the master-planning process would provide opportunities to reduce phosphorus loading to the Charles River, improve BPS facility aesthetics, and illustrate the countless benefits of green stormwater management.

The five schools that were selected to participate in the Commission's GI/LID pilot project are all located in areas with high phosphorus loading. GI/LID that is both effective at pollutant removal and aesthetically pleasing was constructed at each school. During the design process, the project team also considered school needs. For example, in school yards with large, paved areas and little shade, GI/LID that utilizes vegetated surfaces and trees was incorporated. At schools where busing/traffic patterns prevented students from playing outside, GI/LID that acts as a barrier between students and vehicle traffic to help create protected play spaces was designed.

Stormwater/GI Curriculum - Grades 5 and 7

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