Overbrook Environmental Education Center Stormwater Management Techniques


Juveniles Active in Science & Technology (JASTECH) Development Services, Inc. has reinvented a 2-acre former quarry brownfield site into an education center for ecological design and sustainable technologies. The idea for the award-winning Center came from the need to educate Overbrook High School students and the community about environmental issues and the ecological heritage of the area. The Center’s campus serves as a demonstration site for examples of stormwater BMPs in an urban setting.

In 2004, the Community Design Collaborative began a conceptual design for a new 45,000 square foot environmental center that would highlight a variety of stormwater BMPs. The overall site plan retains 60% of the land as vegetated open space. This measure alone will provide an immense capacity for filtering and infiltrating runoff, helping towards the project’s goal of harvesting 90% of total site runoff. This will help reduce the occurrence of combined sewer overflows in the Mill Creek sewage drain area, which experiences 62 overflow events each year, totaling over 1.8 billion gallons of discharge to the Schuylkill River.

BMPs featured at the Center include a green roof, rain barrels, a combination of porous pavers and conventional pavement in the site’s parking lot, pervious pavers in the courtyard, a bioretention basin to collect stormwater from the parking lot and court yard, a vegetated swale, and native woodland plantings that will cover the rear slope of the site.


County: Philadelphia
Watershed: Schuylkill River


Juveniles Active in Science & Technology (JASTECH) Development Services, Inc. 
Community Design Collaborative 
F.X. Browne, Inc.
Overbrook Environmental Education Center
Rolf Sauer & Partners
Susan Maxman & Partners


Site Development: $298,000
Roof Garden: $67,000
Education Center Building and Envelope: $430,000

Funding partners
Friends Central School
PA DEP’s Pennsylvania Energy Harvest grant program
Philadelphia Water Department, Office of Watersheds
Penn State Cooperative Extension
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
US EPA, Office of Brownfields 


Linda Dottor
Community Design Collaborative
117 S. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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