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Learning landscape at Richards Career Academy, a WRD Environmental project

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Chicago Public Schools Learning Landscapes, Chicago, IL

Client Profile

The City of Chicago Department of Housing and Economic Development, a bureau of the Chicago Department of Planning and Development (DPD), promotes economic development by helping existing businesses grow and by attracting new industry to the city. The landscape designs for this project were reviewed by Chicago Public Schools, and DPD intends to transfer ownership to Chicago Public Schools in the future.


  • Lead design workshops with three Chicago Public Schools -- Arthur A. Libby Elementary, W.R. Harper High School and Richards Career Academy -- to identify goals for vacant parcels of land and transform them into learning landscapes
  • Work with Greencorps Chicago to implement the designs

Sample Results

  • At Libby Elementary, an asphalt parking lot has become a Geometry Garden, where students enhance their studies of math, science and art
  • At Libby Elementary, two abandoned parcels of land are becoming a nature-based playground for the school and a resource for the community
  • At Richards Career Academy, four vacant parcels are becoming a learning landscape that supports science and culinary curricula, while providing outdoor space for the community
  • At Harper High School, four vacant parcels are becoming a learning landscape and an edible garden where students will grow fresh fruits and vegetables for their homes and find solace


See sample learning landscape projects: Libby Elementary, Harper High School and Richards Career Academy.

Learn more about Chicago Public Schools.

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Pergala at the Richards Career Academy learning landscape