The Willow School

Featured EFS: The Willow School
Willow-Before Willow-After

Landscape Performance Benefits


  • Reduces potable water consumption by 375,000 gallons per year by using harvested rainwater to flush school toilets. This saves $2,230 annually.

  • Treats and infiltrates 380,000 gallons of wastewater annually with a system that includes constructed wetlands and a sand filter.


  • Engages all 250 students in gardening throughout the year. An estimated 1% of the school’s food comes from the school vegetable gardens and adjacent fruit trees.

  • Recycles an average of 280lbs of organic waste each month as compost for the vegetable gardens. Nearly all students surveyed always compost organic waste at school.

  • Engages all 250 students in an educational curriculum that includes landscape processes and ethics. When a sample of students were asked to list environmentally-friendly features of green buildings, 82% listed landscape features such as rainwater harvesting, composting, vegetable gardens, or wetlands. When asked about stormwater, 86% of students knew that asphalt and concrete were not the best ground surfaces for managing stormwater around a building.

Other Examples

Bannockburn Pollinator Gardens

The Bannockburn Pollinator Garden’s diverse array of native plants provide valuable habitat for a wide variety of local pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.

Brent Elementary Schoolyard Greening: Phase 1

Among other benefits, this greening project reduced daytime summer surface temperatures by an average of 23°F and air temperature by 9°F by replacing 1,500 sf of asphalt play surface with a rain garden. 

Glenstone Landscape

The transformative Glenstone Landscape project represents the intersection of ecological and social productivity, and serves as a monument to the region’s natural morphology.

Knollwood Life Retirement Green Infrastructure

The Knollwood Life Retirement Home’s rain garden and stormwater pond reduce the negative impact of stormwater runoff on local waterways by capturing and cleaning an estimated 2.2 million gallons a year.

New York Times Building, Lobby Garden

The New York Times Building’s Lobby Garden encapsulates the Hudson River Valley woodland landscape in a micro-climate featuring native birch trees and a moss garden.

Sidwell Friends Middle School

This renovation and addition to a 50-year-old school building extended the learning environment into the landscape with a green roof, outdoor classroom, biology pond, butterfly meadow, and Washington DC’s first constructed wetland.

At a Glance