Margaret T. Reilly Elementary

Reilly Elementary Wins National Green Infrastructure Award

Reilly Elementary is showing its commitment to the environment and our waterways. The school, in partnership with the city of Austin, won first place in the Green Infrastructure Award from the National Association of Flood & Stormwater Management Agencies.

Reilly won the award for its rain-catching landscape. Five rain gardens and 12 cisterns capture thousands of gallons of stormwater from the school's roofs and parking lots, reducing erosion and flooding problems on the property. The new landscape will also help improve the water quality and flow in Waller Creek.

AISD partnered with the City of Austin on the four-year project to help alleviate flooding at the school.

“It's beautified the campus and shows a commitment to supporting the students in their educational endeavors,” said Ann Muller, AISD outdoor learning Specialist. “By having access to this infrastructure, the hope is that Reilly students will be exposed to and inspired by environmental stewardship.” 

The award is for any public agency or private firm working to better the environment by creating green infrastructure projects for flood risk and water quality initiatives.

To qualify, the entity must submit a written explanation of why the submission should be considered and supporting graphics on the environmental benefit of the project.

“Having these beautiful cisterns with our school logo on them and our rain gardens with their flowering native plants is incredibly gratifying, especially after the work we have put in these past four years,” said Reilly Principal Corrine Saenz. “It all came together and we have created something special here that will last forever. I invite the entire community to come and enjoy this beautiful improvement to our campus.”

Jorge Morales, director of the City of Austin’s Watershed Protection Department, said more projects like this will help the local environment.

“This project will help produce healthy creeks and a healthy community,” Morales said. “We are committed to amplifying the success of the project and raising awareness about how these techniques can help creeks throughout all of Austin.”

You can learn more about Reilly Elementary’s green landscape project via a video highlighting the project and its benefits.