Children planting.

Trench drain under construction.


Illustrations by Jessica Wolff.


Raingarden and Stormwater Project

We are pleased to announce that we were awarded Schuylkill River Restoration Fund grants for Phase 1 and Phase 2 of raingardens and stormwater management in our parking lot.  These grants allowed us to improve water quality in the Pickering Creek watershed, create new native plant and animal habitat, make our parking area safer, and educate our students, families and the public. We now have a wonderful new area for Outdoor Learning!

Donald Pell Gardens constructed Phase 1 in November 2021. Phase 1 included a large trench drain to intercept water along the top of the site, and two series of raingarden basins to slow water, increase absorption, and create new habitat. Phase 2 in December 2022 added another large trench drain along the edge of the lower parking lot.

The basins are beautiful and will be a learning resource for our community and students for years to come. A parent gardening group is learning all about native plants and caring for the gardens. Two informative signs, designed by The Bunyip Collective with funding from the PA DEP, were installed in Spring 2023.


Generous Funders

Major funding for this project has been provided by AquaPA through the Schuylkill River Restoration Fund and the Delaware River Basin Commission. We are grateful to them for championing the project and providing funding and expertise.  The Archie W. and Grace Berry Foundation has also been a stalwart source of support.  We are proud that it also has the approval of the Charlestown Township Environmental Advisory Committee, Green Valleys Association and French & Pickering Conservation Trust. The signage is funded by the Chester County Conservation District through partnership with the PA  Department of Environmental Protection and the US Environmental Protection Agency.


We are also grateful for the generous donations from the following alumni:

Nick and Christy Albrecht

Karen Beam

Maureen Buckley and John DiStasio

Tasha Stonorov and Michael Churchill

Tina Stonorov Daly and Melissa and Mark Mixer

Kaushik and Noelle Datta

Dr. Bradley and Ann Dyer

Hilary and Bill Felton

Faith and Al Koons

Jim and Debbie O'Brien

Kim Billesbach and Alan Scholl

Frank and Barbara Small

Henry Young and Andrea Archer


We would love YOU to be a supporter of this project too!