Prairie Crossing School – Grayslake, Illinois

It began after a field trip to the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, WI. The glimmering blue and green FilterPave porous paving installed there completely captivated two of the students who were looking for a subject for their upcoming service learning project. As they listened to their host explain FilterPave’s unique environmental and stormwater management benefits, their imaginations sparkled with eco-ambitions of their own. Shortly after that moment, “Operation Sidewalk Makeover” was born.

Within nine months, the students had successfully completed a sidewalk makeover and awareness campaign, raising more than $20,000 to remove old concrete walkways and replace them with 1,400 square feet of FilterPave. Not only did they save roughly 126,000 glass bottles from wasting precious landfill space but, they also helped to educate and elevate the eco-consciousness of their community.

As part of their outreach, the team shared stormwater best practices to some pretty impressive “students” including the Lake County Storm Water Management, Lake County Board Member Ann Maine, State Representative Sandy Cole, Executive Director of Gurnee Park District Ms. Kuruvilla, Executive Director of Grayslake Park District Mr. Nehila, the Mayor of Grayslake Rhett Taylor and presented a Brown Bag Briefing hosted by the Upper Des Plaines Ecosystem Project.

By creating and submitted grants to a number of organizations including the Parent Staff Organization at Prairie Crossing, the Storm Water Management Commission, Illinois EPA, Motorola, Subaru, and Nicor and through charitable donations, they secured all the funds needed to complete the project on time.

In 2011 the project received the Waste Management Environmental Stewardship Award.

The sidewalk is 39% porous, allowing water to continue its natural course, undeterred by man-made structures. This also prevents surface runoff, chloride pollution, hot water pollution, and erosion.