Spuyten Duyvil Pre-School Kingsbridge, The Bronx
After observing the children at play and holding a series of discussions with the teachers, the school's director and some parents, we developed a design to address Spuyten Duyvil's myriad needs.
The result of this participatory process is a play yard rich in opportunities for challenging physical exercise, socializing, creative play, and making connections to the natural world and the local watershed.
Trees, shrubs, and perennials were selected for high wildlife value, fast growth rate, and tolerance for pre-existing conditions such as poor soil. A Norway Maple in poor health was the only tree on site, which we harvested for bed edging, seats and table space.
Rainwater is collected from the school house roof, deflected from sewer drains, and collected in repurposed olive barrels for use in garden irrigation. When it rains, a small stream of water flows along the school's walkway from Kingbridge Avenue into a shaded rain garden composed of a Weeping Willow, Smooth Joe Pye Weed, Golden Alexanders, and White Turtleheads.
100 years ago this site was part of the Tibbet’s Brook watershed- runoff flowed into Tibbet’s Brook (approximately two blocks away) where it was cleaned by cattails and wet meadows before entering the Harlem River.