Ducketts Lane Elementary School Elkridge, MD


The BSD design team has created a campus that serves as an educational experience much like the interior spaces. In order to accommodate a variety of learning styles across a broad curriculum, the team has incorporated a number of features designed to stimulate, inform, and inspire-- as well as beautify the school grounds.

The courtyards tucked among the classroom wings are settings for outdoor labs and learning spaces. The lab is a teaching tool: it follows the path of rainwater as it falls on a vegetated roof and trickles down a curtain of rain chains into a raised trough. The trough can be used for aquatic wildlife studies, a “touching pool” where students can handle species indigenous to the area’s waterways. An overflow lip allows the water to spill into a runnel, covered by a grate but audible as it makes its way to the bioretention area beyond.

Howard County Public School System


Project Manager
Sharon Bradley

Image Credit
Sam Kittner (3, 8)

Design For Impact

  • Partnership with school staff and county to create a landscape based on specific curriculum components to enhance learning activities
  • Edible and educational plant areas for all age groups
  • Drought- and moisture-tolerant plant palette requires no irrigation and minimal maintenance.
  • Saved an estimated $12,045 in annual water costs if site required irrigation
  • 72.9 % of species are native and 61.7% of Planting Units are native
  • 560 s.f. of green roof
  • 2,258 s.f. of pervious pavement
  • 16,793 s.f. of bioretention area