The Concord International Elementary School PTA is working to improve and beautify the school grounds by adding rain gardens, trees, a butterfly garden, safer access to crosswalks, and a safer southwest entryway. The Greening Concord Elementary project will offer hands-on scientific learning opportunities for kids and enhance the tree canopy in South Park. It also ties in with neighborhood efforts to maintain water quality.
Community-driven green space improvements are especially critical in South Park, which has a long history of environmental devastation and high pollution levels, leading to significant health consequences for residents. Most of the school’s students come from high-poverty families—almost 80% qualify for free or reduced lunch. The school’s student body is 87% children of color and 50% English language learners.
There is one phase of the project left to fund—designing and building a safe and attractive ramp that will guide families onto a sidewalk from which they can access the school or the playground. There is currently only one entry path to the school grounds, which is on the busiest section of the block. Many families use a secondary hillside path that is an unpaved, unsightly, often muddy, and leads directly into the parking lot.