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Academy for College and Career Exploration Greening Project

Location: Baltimore, Maryland Client: Baltimore City Public Schools

JMT designed a sustainable, low-cost solution to address stormwater treatment at a school.

JMT helped the Academy for College and Career Exploration (ACCE), a Baltimore school serving grades six through twelve, convert a 0.75-acre paved parking lot on its campus to a vegetated open space.  This greening project, made possible through a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust covering all of the design and construction costs, was designed by JMT, in partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools and nonprofit watershed advocate Blue Water Baltimore.  At a total cost of $60,000, the ACCE project is a shining example that is part of a larger initiative by Blue Water Baltimore to enhance school footprints while helping to clean the Chesapeake Bay.

The project also included the installation of a 450 square-foot rain garden to provide water quality treatment for existing rooftop runoff.  A portion of the converted space is being used for vegetable and flower gardens which are maintained by ACCE students and faculty.  This is a true hands-on opportunity for students to learn about sustainability and environmental responsibility.

As a result of these efforts to remove pavement and add green space, ACCE received designation in 2013 as a Maryland Green School from the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education.

Meanwhile, the City of Baltimore gains stormwater credits toward its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) permit with the US EPA.  MS4 permit holders are challenged with addressing significant stormwater treatment for legacy pavement with limited funds and resources.  Greening projects such as ACCE provide an outstanding opportunity to meet permit requirements while enhancing sustainability in Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay.

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