A creative community initiative led primarily by keen volunteers, this project in Ottawa is one of several Depave Paradise sites across Canada that are being supported by Green Communities Canada. It’s an initiative that would make Joni Mitchell proud.
Thank you for a successful Community Depaving Day!
In June, a fabulous team of volunteers of all ages came together for our Community Depaving Day to tear up the pavement and liberate the soil. A group of over 30 community members arrived ready to get their hands dirty and were eager to help out during the first phase of this project. The day was filled with hard work, good food, and lots of sun.
On August 11th, members of Carleton University’s Student Experience Office arrived at St. Anthony Catholic School ready to participate in a day of preparation for the second phase of Depave Paradise 2015. The group’s task at hand was to fill pits where asphalt was removed in June with soil and mulch. The hands of many enthusiastic workers turned what seemed like a large task into a fun and rewarding experience for all.
Andrew Harvey from Evergreen led the group of volunteers from start to finish in order to prepare for the upcoming transformation in September that is based on his planting plan. At the end of the day the project was looking closer to the final product and everyone was excited for the progress that was made. In September, the St. Anthony Catholic School students will arrive to a school ground waiting to be filled with life.
Ecology Ottawa’s water team is appreciative of the help received at each step of the event and is excited for the final phase in September. This phase will include planting native flowers where soil was placed. Red osier dogwood, blue violets, mint, and thyme will all be planted by the St. Anthony Catholic School students on September 15th with the help of volunteers.
Photos can be found on the Ecology Ottawa Facebook page.
Right now, we are gearing up for another exciting Depave Paradise event:
- Saturday, September 15, 2015: Community Planting Day to engage volunteers in greening the space
Learn more about the event by clicking here.
Why: Keeping our streams clean and our city cool
Hard surfaces, such as driveways, parking lots, and buildings interrupt the natural water cycle by preventing rain water from soaking into the ground and creating heat sinks, warming up our cities. By removing pavement and replacing it with native plants, trees and shrubs we are increasing the infiltration rate, recharging our groundwater supply, and cooling our neighbourhoods.
Benefits of this project include:
- Increasing green community space increases the mental and physical health of residents.
- Adding native species to the urban plant mix improves the biodiversity of the City landscape.
- Green spaces decrease the city’s heat island effect and help cool things down, mitigating the effects of climate change.
- Permeable pavement or plant covered soil decrease the runoff of stormwater, which lowers the volume of our combined sewer overflow that dumps millions of litres of sewage into the Ottawa River each year.
- A clean river system ensures optimum water quality.
Bringing community members together to remove asphalt and concrete is an empowering activity that renews, beautifies, and makes better use of neglected urban spaces. The hands-on depaving process captures the hearts and energies of diverse people with a shared goal of creating vibrant, beautiful, and healthy communities. This Depave Paradise demonstration project will motivate residents in the city to continue depaving, either on their own properties or in common spaces.