Into the Woods: New school utilizes its natural environment

This January, Green Woods Charter School, an environmentally-focused K-8 public school, will move from two former parish schools in Manayunk to a new 60,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility at Ridge Avenue and Domino Lane in Roxborough. Innovative features like 12-foot windows, transparent walls, an observation deck and a third floor balcony — together with a three-acre site featuring a science center, garden, pond, streams and wetlands — will help students learn hands-on, outside of a traditional classroom setting.

The melding of the indoors and outdoors reflects Green Woods’ mission of helping students understand their place in the natural world. Green Woods CEO Jean Wallace says the architect and construction team worked closely on the bond-funded $12 million project to make the school’s vision a reality.

“Our students will have the feel of being in the ‘green woods’ while going to school in the heart of an urban environment,” she says. “It's the best of both worlds, and we can't wait to move in!"

Green Woods is open to all children living in Philadelphia. Initial enrollment was determined via a lottery, but there is also a waiting list for future admissions.

More info about admissions can be found on greenwoodscharter.org

Story by Emily Kovach.