Mary W. Jackson Elementary

Amigos de Los Rios led the green schoolyard transformation at Jackson Magnet STEM Dual Language Academy. Jackson is a K-5th grade school in the Pasadena Unified School District, located at the base of the Angeles National Forest in Altadena, CA. 

Amigos de los Rios removed 21,000 square feet of asphalt and concrete to reduce the playground’s heat island effect. We installed pervious pavement, bioretention planters, bioswales, to manage stormwater, improve drainage, address vector issues, protect water quality and conserve water. The Amigos team also created five outdoor classrooms and learning areas using boulders and recycled urban lumber for seating. The project also improved ADA access throughout the green schoolyard.

Other features include a pervious concrete path around the perimeter of the sports field for enhanced physical education, engineered wood fiber instead of rubber for safety zones around play areas, multiple nature-based play areas include a “sideways tree,” log couches, log throne and log stump cluster, the planting of 36 new trees and 600 shrubs. A phase two Safe Clean Water Project will address stormwater challenges in the streets surrounding the school and Emerald Necklace Watershed signage.

Asphalt & Concrete removed

New Trees Planted

native shrubs planted

The Benefits of Schoolyard Greening

This year, Earth Economics partnered with Amigos de los Rios to assess the social, environmental, and economic benefits of the Watershed Discovery Campus of Mary W. Jackson Elementary with generous support from the Ingrid Rasch Legacy Fund.

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FACTSHEET: THE NEXT GENERATION OF SCHOOLYARDS: LESSONS FROM THE WATERSHED DISCOVERY CAMPUS
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REPORT: THE NEXT GENERATION OF SCHOOLYARDS: LESSONS FROM THE WATERSHED DISCOVERY CAMPUS
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This major transformation was made possible by:

A major grant from the California Natural Resources Agency’s Urban Greening Grant Program
A grant from the Disney Foundation’s Water Conservation Program
A grant from California ReLeaf
A grant from LA County’s Safe Clean Water Program
A major grant from the California Natural Resources Agency’s Urban Greening Grant Program
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