project leader
Wendy A
Various Brooklyn Schools
Brooklyn (Brooklyn / Gowanus)
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Thank you to our donors!

the project

We are sustainability-minded landscape architects who are working to put our knowledge of green infrastructure into the hands of the community.

We have developed a modular square-foot sized garden kit that will reduce stormwater runoff when installed over impermeable surfaces such as asphalt or concrete. We call this kit the “Square-Foot Stormwater Garden”.

The kits are intended to be installed vertically on underutilized surfaces, such as chain link fence. We are reaching out to Brooklyn schools to begin the installation of these miniature stormwater capturing interventions. Educational environments provide the optimal learning lab for a new generation of green infrastructure enthusiasts. The kits are intended to be small-scale teaching tools that the students themselves can build, test, and monitor. As a result, this easily assembled, build-it-yourself approach provides experiential hands-on learning through a process and scale that students can take ownership and be proud of.

Each module can absorb about .5 gallons of rain (the first inch that falls onto it in a storm) that would otherwise discharge into the Gowanus Watershed’s combined sewer system, continuing to negatively impact combined sewer overflows (CSOs). In addition to reducing stormwater runoff, the kits have co-benefits including carbon sequestration, urban heat island mitigation, reduced energy demand, improved air quality, and increased urban habitat for pollinators.

An installation of a large number of kits can illustrate to our community that each effort, no matter how small, contributes to the greater, greener solution.

the steps

We anticipate a project start date of August 1, 2014 and an approximate end date of November 30, 2014. We will begin with outreach to Brooklyn schools to find educators that want to incorporate a hands-on green infrastructure project into their curriculum. This effort will be lead by outreach coordinator Patricia Voltolini, and should initially take 4 weeks, but will also be ongoing throughout the duration of the project. While Patricia is coordinating workshops with schools, Greenlab members Wendy Andringa and Hillary Cohen will be preparing and assembling kits. Greenlab will recruit help for this effort as needed. The workshops will be scheduled on a monthly basis. A total of 4 workshops are anticipated.

Greenlab has experience in hosting stormwater garden module workshops. We are familiar with the amount of preparation required to lead a workshop that constructs up to 30 modules. Preparation entails ordering and delivery of materials, and cutting materials to size. Greenlab owns or has access to all tools required for kit preparation. Workshops will be conducted on school sites with tools provided by Greenlab, and each workshop duration is 3 hours maximum. The completion of the fourth workshop will mark the end of the 2014 education stormwater workshop series.

why we're doing it

Storms like Hurricane Sandy have hastened the need to execute the multi-faceted resiliency strategies and green infrastructure efforts put forth by our City. In 2010, the NYC Green Infrastructure Plan was released, addressing – among other issues - the problem of poor water quality resulting from combined sewer overflow discharges into our waterways. At Greenlab, we recognize and appreciate the efforts of our City government to creatively mitigate storm water issues with green infrastructure. We’d like to help on a grassroots scale; to bridge the gap and assist from the bottom up. Our project offers effective and economical techniques that can achieve this. While the City tackles larger scale green infrastructure projects, our approach is to be nimble, go vertical, and work small.

We believe that empowering the next generations to integrate green infrastructure into their environments is a valuable part of the solution. Every square foot counts!


4 sustainability/ecology (or related disciplines) classes will participate in stormwater garden module workshops led by Greenlab Studio on their schoolyards. Each student/participant (approx. 12 students per workshop) will construct one square-foot stormwater module. The modules will be installed on chain link fencing in the schoolyards. 2 adults (Wendy Andringa and Hillary Cohen) will prepare the module kits in advance of the workshops (50 hours each). One adult (Patricia Voltolini) will conduct 12 hours total of outreach to schedule workshop dates.

space rental: $1200
materials: $1,200 (25 x 48) -
truck rental: $500
Outreach Coordinator compensation: $500
Total: $3,400

Total to raise in Phase 1 ioby campaign: $3,000

SUBTOTAL = $3,000
ioby Platform Fee $35
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $150
3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) $90

RAISED = $3,685.00
less ioby Platform Fee  $35.00
less ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $173.81
less 3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) $106.31

Budget Update, 8/15/2014

We plan to use the additional $369.88 towards Phase 2 truck rental for the transport to the workshops.


Thank you to our donors!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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