Unique partnership awarded for stormwater management, water conservation efforts across IL

A partnership among the City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, Openlands and Healthy Schools Campaign has received awards for ongoing efforts in environmental sustainability across Illinois.

Mar 19th, 2015

March 19, 2015 -- A partnership among the City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, Openlands and Healthy Schools Campaign -- known as "Space to Grow" (STG) -- has received three high-level awards for its ongoing efforts in the field of environmental sustainability across the state of Illinois.

STG is a unique public-private partnership that transforms Chicago schoolyards into vibrant outdoor spaces that encourage physical activity, outdoor learning and community engagement, while addressing broader environmental issues, including stormwater management and water conservation.

The partnership received a "New Champions" award from the National Physical Activity Plan Alliance (NPAPA), which recognizes the efforts of hundreds of organizations working to promote opportunities for physical activity among people in various settings, physical abilities and ages. STG schoolyards help Chicago Public Schools meet its daily recess and physical education requirements for elementary schools.

STG also received the Sustainability award from the Illinois Association for Floodplain and Stormwater Management, which recognizes excellence in stormwater management across the state of Illinois. Further, the partnership won a Silver Ribbon Award from Friends of the Chicago River last fall for its creative approach to river sensitive design and implementation.

"Not only do school children benefit from the improved outdoor play areas, but the community benefits from the increased capacity of the schoolyard to capture water, which prevents localized flooding," MWRD President Mariyana Spyropoulos said. "This is a multi-faceted partnership, and I hope other cities and organizations are inspired to work together in such a fashion to improve their schools and communities."

Six more schools are slated for renovations this year: Cather Elementary, Corkery Elementary, Gunsaulus Scholastic Academy, Orozco Academy, Wadsworth Elementary and Westcott Elementary. For more information about STG, visit www.mwrd.org and spacetogrowchicago.org.

See also:

"MWRD earns four prestigious awards for financial reporting excellence"

"New rain garden to reduce stormwater runoff at Chicago elementary school"

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