The students at Starms Early Childhood Center swarm the playground, climbing into the rowboats on the make-believe lake and riding their red tricycles on the path around it.
It looks like it's all fun and games. But there is serious business afoot at Starms, where the playground does triple duty: nurturing the imaginations of the little ones who play there, reducing flooding and cleaning the rainwater that flows into the real Great Lake and rivers on which their city sits.
Milwaukee Public Schools unveiled the new "green" playground Thursday, one of 16 similar projects completed or in the pipeline at schools around the district. The projects include a host of features intended to divert rainwater from local sewers and filter it before it makes its way into Lake Michigan: permeable surfaces, massive underground cisterns, native plants and bioswales, to name a few.
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