On Thursday, November 2nd, Habans scholars welcomed city officials and representatives of the Trust for Public Land to their school, as they officially unveiled their new playground.
The Trust For Public Land, in partnership with the City of New Orleans, Crescent City Schools, and scholars at Habans unveiled the first state-of-the-art green schoolyard in New Orleans. The new schoolyard at Habans features green infrastructure solutions to help manage storm water. The schoolyard is the first in the city to adhere to storm water capture requirements set forth in the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance.
Habans scholars, along with Science and Social Studies teacher, Tommy DeCarlo, worked hand-in-hand with the Trust for Public Land to plan the perfect schoolyard by learning about “green” features such as rain-capture elements, conceptualizing playground elements, and finalizing the design.
Sixth grade scholar, Elijah C. recognized right away some of the challenges they faced when planning out the playground.
“The problem with our playground was when it rained it always flooded and got muddy,” he said. “We needed to make sure we balanced grey and green infrastructure and install catch basins to improve our water management.”
“Our class taking on the responsibility of designing our new playground was a great way to have scholars demonstrate our school’s values,” said Mr. DeCarlo. “Because we were one class in a school of 650 plus students we were able to exemplify the Habans value of community.”
This transformative project combines recreation amenities including new play equipment, a chalkboard wall, painted reading porch, walking path and nature trail, and imaginative play structures; along with sustainability features like rain gardens and native plantings designed to capture the first one and one-quarter (1.25) inch of rain.
Crescent City Schools CEO Kate Mehok expressed how this schoolyard is not only important to Habans scholars, but also to the entire community of Algiers.
“The Habans schoolyard is a neighborhood park providing a source of pride for the school and a valuable community asset for the surrounding neighborhood,” she said. “We are thrilled with the outcome of this new green schoolyard and look forward to future environmental sustainability projects and joint efforts like this with the Trust for Public Land.”