Southwark Elementary is in the process of raising money for a schoolyard redesign to create an expansive “Dragon Green” for students to play and learn. There’s also plans to transform the school from just an educational facility into a multi-use “community school.”
At the end of October, the Community Design Collaborative awarded the Community Design Award to the Southwark “Dragon Green” schoolyard design for its “intimate collection of elements.”
The schoolyard improvements will be coming to life as part of the Parks for People Philadelphia initiative from the Philadelphia Water Department, the School District of Philadelphia and the Trust for Public Land. The colorful design is inspired by the school’s yellow dragon mascot and is meant to integrate learning and playing in the outdoor space with play equipment, rain gardens and more.
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.”