green on the horizon

In early April South Philadelphia High School embarked on an unusual fundraising campaign: crowdfunding for a greener urban campus.  With only eight days left in this 60 day campaign, the school and surrounding community need your help in reaching their goal!

South Philadelphia High School ||  photo (left) and rendering (right) by Lauren Mandel

South Philadelphia High School || photo (left) and rendering (right) by Lauren Mandel

The campaign aims to raise $26,300 to develop a campus-wide Greening Master Plan and partially fund a full-time garden educator position. The Master Plan will evaluate every square inch of the school’s 5.5 acre site (most of which is barren rooftop and pavement) and propose sustainability improvements including rain gardens, expanded ground-level vegetable garden plots, solar arrays, thin green roofs, and of course, an educational rooftop farm.  Students, school representatives, and community members will participate in the Master Plan development with local design firm Roofmeadow (where I work) to collaboratively craft a vision from which the whole neighborhood can benefit.

Crowdfunding is nothing new in the world of rooftop agriculture.  Several rooftop farms have conducted successful online campaigns, including Brooklyn Grange and Boston’s Higher Ground Farm, which is not yet built.  South Philadelphia High School’s approach stands out from the flock.  The school’s full fundraising effort for design and construction will include five distinct phases; this being the first phase.

The school and it’s partner in the greening initiative, the Lower Moyamensing Civic Association, opted to pair with Projexity, a new online platform that raises micro-donations for neighborhood improvement projects in Philadelphia and Toronto, in part because the site accommodates phased campaigns.  Within each phase a series of benchmark fundraising goals make large projects more digestible and achievable.  When visiting South Philadelphia High School’s Projexity page you can see that with over $11,800 raised the first two benchmarks are almost complete.

School is almost out for the summer.  Development of the Master Plan will begin in fall 2013 thanks to passionate folks like you!

2 Comments on “green on the horizon

  1. hey laur: is there a way to send a message to all the people who have bought your book, eg, thru amazon or some other mechanism?

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