Case Study:

Greener, Healthier Play: Herron Playground

Herron Playground is a shining example of what is possible when city agencies work together to achieve compatible goals. Concrete and asphalt have been replaced by plants and trees, porous safety surfaces, rain gardens, and a sound-muffling porous basketball court. The result is a beautiful public space that is loved by neighbors, appreciated by visitors, and helping the Philadelphia Water Department keep runoff on the site and out of South Philadelphia's overburdened sewer system.

The Temple-Villanova Sustainable Stormwater Initiative has more information on this project:

The original recreation center site was mostly impervious cover, lacking vegetation as well as the capacity to manage stormwater runoff. One of the project’s objectives was to capture 100% of the site’s first inch of stormwater and recycle it back into the landscape areas. To accomplish this, the existing structures and pavement were demolished and the site was restored as a public urban green space for all age groups. The renovation’s overall design focused on three key features: a rain garden, basketball court, and playground. New plant cover added to the site during this project included 70 trees, 136 shrubs, 2,500 grasses and 650 perennials.

The basketball court and rain garden work together to collect and disperse rain water. There’s a storage tank under the basketball court’s porous surface that captures the stormwater. This captured rain water then flows into the rain garden. 75% of the play and spray areas are either vegetative or porous.

Find more info about this Herron Playground project via the Temple-Villanova Sustainable Stormwater Initiative.


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