Looking for a model of a walkable, green, community-serving school? Start here.

Rosa Parks Elementary School in Portland, Oregon is housed in a super-green building that earned a LEED-gold certification and, according to the US Green Building Council, uses 24 percent less energy than a comparably sized but conventionally built school.  About a third of its building materials were locally sourced, and virtually none of the construction waste went to a landfill.  All stormwater is managed on site, none becoming polluted runoff. But having a green building is only a small part of the story.  Unlike so many new schools being built today, Rosa Parks sits right in the middle of a neighborhood where most of its students can and do walk or bike to school.   A community garden is right across the street.  Five large “heritage trees” were preserved on the 2.38-acre site, now a “community campus” also containing a Boys & Girls Club and neighborhood community center managed by the Portland Parks Department. By all accounts, the school has been a great success and is now a source of much community pride and activity.

NRDC blog


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