Glenora School Case Study

School Lined with Trees to Provide Shade and Stormwater Detention

Key Facts

13520 102 Ave NW,
Edmonton, Canada


Glenora School

Citygreen PROJECTS

EDA Planning + Urban Design
Cutting Edge Landscapes

Glenora School Case Study

Glenora Elementary School has provided education to downtown Edmonton for the past 100 years. In 2021, it was decided that the school needed a renewal of the amenities to the parking lot, sidewalks, and a general facelift to the school entryway. EDA Planning + Urban Design’s project team decided to take a more progressive step when designing the renewal and really focus on creating a cohesive stormwater management plan.

EDA’s project team established that Citygreen's ‘Stratavault’ soil vault solution was the best solution for establishing a holistic blue+green infrastructure plan


Why Use Stratavault for Stormwater Detainment?

Stratavault is the leading solution for creating ideal underground conditions for trees to grow in urban areas and was key to ensuring EDA Planning + Urban Design could deliver on its blue + green infrastructure plan. The flexibility offered by the matrix design opens up their team with the opportunity for services to be integrated within the soil vault and ensure on-site resources are used efficiently. In this project stratavault delivered in two main areas: 


  • The stratavault modular matrix design enables void space under highly compact urban areas such as the sidewalk and parking lot, providing high quality uncompacted soil to the tree roots. This ensures that we can control the quality of soil the tree needs while the stratavault matrix made form 100% recycled plastic takes the weight of the surrounding infrastructure away from the tree roots.

  • Stormwater runoff from parking lots and rooftops is captured and detained in the stratavault soil cells, reducing the amount of water entering the city's infrastructure during high level rain events and enabling the water to be used locally by trees and soil.

Stratavault being installed at glenora school in edmonton

Stratavault presented the project with an integrated solution that unites rooftop and parking lot stormwater management with landscape tree design. In contrast to traditional methods that channels stormwater into the city's infrastructure, reducing on-site water resources and placing extra strain on municipal systems during heavy rain events, redirecting on-site stormwater into soil vaults offers an effective means of handling the initial rush of rainfall storage.

This stored water can be utilized by the tree roots and soil and subsequently discharged into the city's systems at a later time, promoting sustainability and efficient water use as the soil and tree roots will clean the stormwater pollutants.


Glenora render stratavault Citygreen 



“The biggest value of working with soil cells, specifically the Stratavault system is their flexibility and layout. It's a fully integrated and connected system that can be cut to any shape that you want” 


Will Packolyk
Principal, Landscape Architect
EDA Planning + Urban Design 


How has the Stormwater been used since project completion? 

Will Packolyk from EDA Planning + Urban Design observed minimal effluents being discharged from the system, which indicates how effective using a Stratavault pit is for capturing high level rain events and using the water to irrigate onsite trees is. This not only reduces the strain on the city's infrastructure by managing the initial surge of stormwater but also mitigates the risk of on-site and infrastructure flooding, all while providing a valuable source of water for the trees.

pipes for stormwater management in a stratavault pit

Related: Sustainable ways to Manage Stormwater

The retention of stormwater has also fostered the development of a robust tree canopy and led to a half-inch increase in tree trunk diameter during the initial two years of growth. Will's emphasised the system's efficiency in lessening the burden on the city's infrastructure, enhancing safety and overall well-being for the school community. By redirecting stormwater into a purposeful and sustainable use, such as the Stratavault tree pit, the system not only safeguards the school but also ensures that vital public spaces remain accessible and safe during severe weather events.

Glenora School Render stratavault Citygreen

Is Blue Green Infrastructure the future of Stormwater Management?

The decision to use stormwater runoff to nourish the trees represents a industry shift in the way stormwater is being managed in urban landscaping developments. This synergy between stormwater management and urban forestry takes a page from nature to create a sustainable ecosystem not usually present in urban environments. Trees, with their deep-rooted capacity to absorb water, not only thrive in the conditions soil vaults create, also actively contribute to the improvement of air quality, the mitigation of the urban heat island effect through shade and evapotranspiration, and increase the overall aesthetic of the space.

The integration of the Stratavault soil vault for stormwater management has proven to be a multi-faceted success story and we believe stormwater management that uses both blue and green infrastructure is the future making it a model for sustainable urban development.


‘Stratavault is by far the easier product in this technology to worth with. It is simpler to train our staff. It allows less opportunities for mistakes, due to the simplicity of the install and the structure."

Kris Sloan
Cutting Edge Landscapes 


What Trees were Planted? 

glenora case study 001 stratavault Citygreen

Japanese Lilacs were chosen as the ideal tree species for this project due to their suitability for the Canadian climate and their numerous benefits for a school location. These trees, with their compact and sturdy nature, offer more than just shade; they have showy, fragrant blooms that will enhance the aesthetics of the school's surroundings. Additionally, their resistance to most pests and diseases makes them a low-maintenance choice, aligning perfectly with the school's commitment to sustainability. 



Citygreen Urban Greening Consultants are available to sit down with you and explore how we can transform your urban space into a thriving, sustainable, and environmentally friendly environment. Whether you’re a municipality or landscape architect our team is available to design, install, and deliver better outcomes for your trees & stormwater management strategies.   


spacer stratavault Citygreen

“Great customer service, quick response times and a very in depth QA system with constant support.”

- Laura Wiesenekker, Project Engineer, Densford Civil -

“Citygreen is a very professional  business, and I found everything was great in terms of deliveries, product supply and information. It was all forthcoming and helped us to complete the project.”

- Keith Burns, Architect/Designer, Keith Burns Architect -

“Citygreen offered training and invaluable technical assistance during the works.”

- James Callan, Estimating Manager, Complex Co Pty Ltd -

“Our experience, in working with a Citygreen Design Studio was second to none. We found responses from the design studio to be very timely, and technically thorough. We went backwards and forwards a number of times, looking at different iterations of the design and, nothing was too much trouble to examine and explore different possibilities. I would highly recommend the Citygreen Design Studio to any future client considering using your services.”

- Sandra Smith, Principal Landscape Architect, City Of Monash -

“We are big on compliance on all projects, and the fact that their SmartCertify cloud platform covers all bases, and supports their 20 year warranties, is critical – especially that these pits are being installed under roadways and footpaths.”

- Johny Purkaystha, Civil Program Engineer, Central Coast Council -

"I reviewed all the previous projects that we have installed in the past couple years using your product and I can happily report back that we have 0% mortality in the soil cells, which is incredible!"

- Brendan Wilton, CEO, Trim Landscaping, Bedford, Canada -