Casey Middle School

LEED Platinum | nature themed school yard | community garden

Boulder, Colorado

Downtown Boulder’s Casey Middle School serves 6th through 8th graders with a focused curriculum of science, math, geography, literuate, and Spanish. The new building is certified LEED Platinum and was designed with eco-friendly practices like a green roof and a water efficient landscape.

Sustainability, nature, and education are incorporated into our landscape design, especially in the playground area.. There are several curriculum-themed areas. The playground is centered by a series of nature-themed quotations by Henry David Thoreau, Frank Lloyd Wright, John Muir, and Claude Monet. It also a latitude transect of Earth at 40-degrees latitude to correspond with the school’s location. Students can follow markers to discover other cities and places the latitude passes through, including Philadelphia and Sardinia, Italy.

Several aspects support a sustainable landscape. Native planting surrounds the building, reducing water consumption and providing shade, a bioswale between play courts and sod play area allows water to filtrate into the ground, and light-colored concrete reduces heat. A synthetic turf field also reduces water usage and maintenance costs. Many existing school funded site elements were re-used, including memorial boulders, flagstone seats, a climbing boulder, and chessboard pavers.

Students, teachers, and nearby residents can even grow their own food in the community garden. .


Grand Prize, Green/Sustainable Design

Learning by Design