Brent Elementary Schoolyard Greening


Washington, DC
United States

Project Size
1.5 acres
Project type
Institutional / Educational
Site Context
Former Land Use
Terrestrial Biome
Temperate Broadleaf & Mixed Forests
Project overview

The Brent Elementary School campus has been transformed into a model learning environment for students, teachers, and parents. Located on Capitol Hill, major improvements between 2006 and 2012 on the 1.5 acre site were designed and built with the following goals:

  • Improved safety for students, teachers, parents, and neighbors
  • Creating new learning opportunities to meet curriculum standards through out-of-classroom experiences
  • Increased student health by creating better spaces for physical fitness, cleaning the air with new plantings, and providing shade from sun exposure with trees
  • Enhanced environmental performance through the restoration of native plant and animal habitats and effective storm water management

Specific achievements included the removal of 1,600 square feet of asphalt and the installation of a raingarden, 7,000 square feet of outdoor classrooms, new entrance walkways and seatwalls, new play equipment, 10,000 square feet of safety surfacing and the creation of an urban canyon trail.

photo by Michael Lucy, Sustainable Life Designs

Project Team
  • Brent School Administration and PTA Green Team Leaders – Inspiration, Vision and Perseverance: Jacqueline Emanuel; Heidi Johnson; Tessa Muehlehner
  • Sustainable Life Designs – Landscape Design and Project Management: Michael Lucy, Lead Designer and Project Manager; Monica Anescu, Drafting and design; Rachel Kunreuther, Documentation and fence design; Bordern Edgerton, Documentation; Margie Noonan, Documentation; Eric Borchers, Documentation
  • Government of the District of Columbia: Eupert Braithwaite, Project Manager – D.C. Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization
  • District Department of the Environment – Grant Support: Rebecca Stack
  • USDA and NRCS – Grant Support: Leslie Burk; Robert Snieckus
  • NFWF – Grant Support
  • Monument, Winmar & Sparks at Play – Construction