Upland Design worked as part of a team for the Chicago Public Schools to renovate the outdoor spaces and playgrounds at Morrill Elementary Spaces to Grow project. Funded in part by the City of Chicago Department of Water Management and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, the site enhancements improve the management of rainfall and runoff with green storm water infrastructure. At the same time, the outdoor school yards were enriched with outdoor garden space, seating, permeable paving, bio-swales, native plantings and new recreational components.
Elements include outdoor classroom and meeting spaces, playground pavement games, basketball areas, fitness equipment, running track, multipurpose artificial turf area, play equipment and rubber surfacing. Raised planters were incorporated to add a hands on element to the curriculum. Additionally, accessibility improvements were included in the amenities layout. The project won a Friends of the Chicago River Silver Ribbon and an ACEC Special Achievement Award.