At a Glance
A stormwater and landscape management plan enhances sustainability and nature-based learning opportunities for a school with a strong environmental ethic.
Nestled in Pennsylvania’s forested Wissahickon Valley, yet just a few miles away from Philadelphia, the Miquon School is an independent elementary school that aims to instill in its students a love of the environment and inclusive communities. The school campus, which includes rock outcrops and groundwater seeps, is regarded as a classroom and nature is integrated into all facets of learning.
Biohabitats worked with the landscape architecture firm Wells Appel to help diagnose and develop a strategy for resolving flooding and stream channel erosion problems on the school campus. The end product was a campus stormwater and landscape management plan.
The Biohabitats team began by developing a hydrologic model of the watershed and conducting rapid field reconnaissance to better understand flow paths, sources of runoff, and landscape challenges and opportunities for more effective water management. Strategies that were considered and further developed included retention within landscape forms, energy dissipation to lessen erosive forces, and beneficial reuse ideas that could be integrated into school curricula. The final plan also recommended significant stream stabilization and restoration efforts within the campus to improve safety and protect existing infrastructure.
By embracing and identifying a comprehensive strategy to mitigate site conditions, the school is well positioned to pursue grant funding and other in-kind resources to bring the plan and vision to fruition so that the important legacy of environmentally-based learning can continue to be a focus of the school.