Southwark Schoolyard Design Wins Community Design Award
Dragon Green Park—an imaginative design for a South Philadelphia green schoolyard inspired by the school’s mascot, a bright yellow dragon—is the winner of the Collaborative’s 2016 Community Design Award.
Jeff Goldstein, principal of DIGSAU and a member of the Collaborative Board of Directors, presented the award at the AIA Philadelphia Design Awards on October 19th. Over the past decade, he explained, “The Collaborative has provided 33 design grants for the design of schoolyards or school-related open space. Among the collection of inspiring schoolyard projects, Dragon Green Park was a standout for its design excellence.The intimate collection of elements – play structures, multi-use surfaces, rain gardens – that have come to define this project type, have been reinterpreted in a engaging and identifiable way that works at the civic scale. Everyone was blown away by the design. This project also exemplifies a true partnership between community and school.”
Since the Collaborative wrapped up Dragon Green Park, Southwark’s schoolyard has been chosen for implementation as part of Parks for People Philadelphia, a joint schoolyard greening initiative of The School District of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Water Department, and the Trust for Public Land. Danielle Denk of the Trust for Public Land notes, “The work by the Collaborative showcased a commitment to schoolyard greening and elevated the selection of Southwark School as one of our next sites.”
Southwark Elementary School was also selected as one of nine community schools. These schools will receive extra resources to serve as hubs for social, health, and other services in their neighborhoods. The school’s new community liaison, Beth Dougherty of East Passyunk Crossing Civic Association, was instrumental in the Collaborative’s design and community engagement process for Dragon Green Park.