John M. Patterson Elementary School

The yard area at John M. Patterson Elementary School, as it looks now.John M. Patterson Elementary School, as it looks now.Photo credit: TPL Archive

For the students of Philadelphia's John M. Patterson Elementary School, recess means having to play on a deteriorating concrete yard. And with no shaded areas to escape the noonday sun, outdoor activities for the kids are limited. The paved surface also generates significant stormwater runoff problems for the city's overburdened sewer system.

With bold ideas for transforming the schoolyard into a vibrant play space that will also mitigate storm runoff, the school and members of the Elmwood neighborhood are eager to have The Trust for Public Land's help. We are now working with the students, staff, and community on a playground design that incorporates interactive play equipment for children of all ages, new recreation opportunities like a turf field and running track, and permeable green spaces that offer shade and help absorb storm water.

Construction of the new playground is slated to begin in later this year.

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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3.3 million acres and completed more than 5,400 park and conservation projects.