Boise-Eliot/Humboldt School

Boise-Eliot/Humboldt School in North Portland had a schoolyard that was largely paved - but it was much more asphalt than they needed for outdoor play time and recess. The Estuary Partnership worked with Depave and the school community to create a greener schoolyard.
asphalt fills the screen from the before picture

Boise-Eliot/Humboldt School in North Portland had a sizeable playground, but it also had a lot of asphalt and lacked much green space for active play. 

“Many of our students naturally gravitate to the little tree and grass space that we currently have both for imaginative play and for reduced temperatures on hot days. Increasing this space will increase possibilities for students to play and for teachers to utilize the space for outdoor learning activities.”

- Kaveh Pakseresht, Boise-Eliot/Humboldt School Principal.



The Estuary Partnership partnered with Boise-Eliot/Humboldt School, Portland Public Schools, and nonprofit Depave to improve the schoolyard for its students.

In September 2018, the Estuary Partnership and Depave co-hosted a community volunteer event to depave the schoolyard.

Eighty-five volunteers participated, and with the help of contractors, removed an amazing 8,800 square feet of asphalt from the school grounds. That's 30 dumpsters full of asphalt!


Depave at Boise-Eliot credit BES
several students help fill in dirt around a newly planted tree

After depaving, the space was replanted with play-friendly grass. Students also helped to plant several trees across the schoolyard along with a selection of native plants in a small stormwater retention garden.

Third grade classes from Boise-Eliot also got a series of stormwater lessons from Estuary Partnership Environmental Educators as a part of the project.

This project is estimated to avert nearly 82,000 gallons of stormwater per year by increasing the permeable surface in the schoolyard. More importantly, it gives students a healthier place to play and learn about their environment. 

Project Partners

Depave logo     Portland Public Schools      Portland Parks and Recreation

+ Boise-Eliot/Humboldt School community


Project Funders

Oregon DEQ logo     Portland Bureau of Environmental Services   East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District

Evans Metal Fabricators

Schoolyard in 2020 shows a grassy field with a few small trees