Water

Depave Paradise: Dundas community transforming schoolyard into vibrant, green learning space

Yorkview Elementary School students, parents and members of the community, in partnership with Green Venture, removed 172m2 of old asphalt by hand on Saturday, September 29 as the first step in their schoolyard revitalization.  Local MPP Sandy Shaw and Anne Tennier, an Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) volunteer, were on hand to see how a three-year, $740,000 province-wide OTF grant awarded earlier this year is starting to have an impact. This funding will support 36 projects by 2020.  Other cities who will be leading Depave Paradise projects in Ontario include Peterborough, Kitchener-Waterloo, Thunder Bay, Collingwood, Kingston, Ottawa, Mississauga and York Region.

“Thanks to the funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, transformational environmental projects across our Province and right here in Dundas are made possible,” said Sandy Shaw, MPP for Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas. “It is truly inspiring to see what can be accomplished when students along with community partners work together to enrich where we live, work and play.”

The revitalized schoolyard offers benefits to both students and the broader community including greater biodiversity, reduced storm water run-off and cleaner water. Designed in consultation with the students and community, support from this Yorkview Elementary School Depave project was generously provided by OTF through Green Communities Canada, the Raingers Rain Garden partnership project with Bay Area Restoration Council, Dougher Community Fund through Hamilton Community Foundation and Tree Canada Greening Canada’s School Ground.

The new space will include two storm water management rain and pollinator gardens, native trees and shrubs, naturalized seating areas, and cedar garden boxes for each classroom. The input of more than 150 students and members of the community informed the garden design.

“This depave project has been a great journey for our school so far, says Brian Gauthier, leader of the Stewardship Team of Yorkview’s Parent Council, “It has been an opportunity to draw on the amazing and diverse talent we have across our school community. When we are done, Yorkview will have this amazing monument to the passion and skill of our community that will educate and delight our students.”

Managing storm water more effectively is a key element in the green space design. Hard impermeable urban surfaces like asphalt interrupt the natural water cycle by preventing rain water from soaking into the ground. When rainwater flows over pavement it picks up a wide range of polluting materials, including motor oil, anti-freeze, tire residue, pet waste and cigarette butts. Green spaces help filter and absorb polluted storm water.

Many partners from the community have committed in-kind support including Groundhog Excavation, Dougan & Associates, Play Think, Brent J Clark Designs, Turksta Lumber, City of Hamilton Urban Forestry and many parents, community members, school administration and teachers.

And coming up on Saturday, October 13th between 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., the Dundas school community will plant hundreds of native plants and trees, build garden boxes and create a new environmental learning and play space. Volunteers are needed! This family friendly event is happening rain or shine! Please dress for the weather and be ready to get your hands dirty! Don’t forget to wear sturdy, closed shoes. Reusable water bottles and gloves are encouraged! Everyone is welcome to help to transform this paved area into a beautiful, functional garden that will encourage people to recognize the benefits of protecting water and air quality for human health.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. OTF awarded more than $120 million to some 700 projects this year to build healthy and vibrant communities in Ontario. www.otf.ca

 

For more information, please contact:

Laura Anderson, Program Coordinator, Green Venture 905‐540‐8787, Ext. 158   laura.anderson@greenventure.ca

Green Venture is a community-based, non-profit organization committed to helping Hamilton-area residents live more sustainably where they live, work, and play.

www.greenventure.ca    Twitter: @Green_Venture    Facebook: GreenVentureHamilton

Photos by: fehn foss www.fehnfoss.com + Alejandro www.instagram.com/onelooseboot

From Grey to Green: A Permeable Parking Lot Story

Depave Paradise has officially wrapped for 2017! We’ve had our most successful year yet Depaving 5 sites for a total of 594m2 asphalt removed! One of our community sites, New Horizons Thrift, Vintage & Collectables, challenged us at Green Venture to a new post-depave vision – a permeable parking lot.  With the majority of our Depave Paradise projects being at schools, we’re used to planting trees, rain gardens, native plant gardens and outdoor education spaces, but this particular community group had a different idea in mind! In Fall 2017, residents from the North End community and Welcome Inn Community Centre – New Horizons Thrift Store partnered with Green Venture to Depave. The New Horizons Thrift Shop on James St. North was all broken asphalt and chipped compacted stone. Jen Kellner, Executive Director of Welcome Inn Community Centre and Suzanne Foreman, Manager of New Horizons brought the idea to life in partnership with Green Venture Depave Paradise coordinator, Laura Anderson. Several months of researching, planning, community engagement and volunteer recruitment went into the parking lot transformation project. The goal: create a permeable, sustainable and green parking lot that will be functional and environmentally friendly. With the help of contractors including Groundhog Excavation, Avesi Stormwater and Landscape Solutions, Fern Ridge Eco-Landscaping and LID Permeable Pavers, we came up with a plan to remove the asphalt, excavate out the compacted gravel and stone, add a drainage base layer of ¾ clear stone and high performance bedding, and lay down 2000 square feet of EcoRaster. Volunteers from the community came to help lay the EcoRaster, as the simple interlocking system easily fits together. We chose Ecoraster E50, a commercial grade permeable paver ideal for parking lots and driveways with snow conditions. The Ecoraster was filled with a mixture of premium garden soil and high performance bedding, custom mixed by The Dirt Depot, to provide drainage and soil for seeding. The permeable pavers have been seeded with clover, sheeps fescue and a mixture of eco lawn seeds. In the Spring, the community will reseed the system with creeping thyme and sedums. The secondary goal of this Depave Paradise project was parking lot beautification to increase pride in the North end. As a result we partnered with the Hamilton Tool Library to build 10 planter boxes that are installed along the back of the parking lot. Built by volunteers and planted with donations from the community including members of the Sunset Cultural Garden, these boxes will serve to add biodiversity and life to the parking lot. Over the course of the project, including our  volunteer planning committee, depave helpers, garden box builders and permeable paver installers, we had approximately 35 committed volunteers connected to the project.

 

Many thanks to the Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund and City of Hamilton’s City Enrichment Fund for their funding support for this project.

New demonstration item at EcoHouse: the LifeStraw personal water filter

Green Venture recently received a donation of Lifestraw Personal Water Filters. The personal water filters, which look like a baton tube with a filter camp on the end, remove bacteria such as E.Coli, Giardia and Cryptosporidium from water in a natural setting. Each filter has the capability to make up to 1,000 liters of contaminated water safe to drink. They are used in third world countries to provide access to clean drinking water.

In Canada, the most likely application is use in a natural setting (hiking, backpacking, camping, etc.), permitting one to drink directly from streams and lakes or from any container. They also have travel and emergency preparedness applications. Apparently you can buy a specially-designed water bottle to enclose the straw, although ours didn’t come with that.

Green Venture staff used the Lifestraws during the 2017 summer camp season, as part of our off-site emergency supply kits.

By reducing fuel consumption necessary to boil and purify water, the filters also have the possibility of reducing one’s carbon footprint, especially in area without a municipal water filtration system.

It’s a very interesting contrast to a water filter we actually built here at EcoHouse in 2008- as part of a CAWST workshop.  In those days, the workshop instructors showed everyone how to make DIY concrete forms to hold water filters for a village water treatment system.

2008 CAWST water filter building workshop at EcoHouse

The Lifestraw company also contributes a portion of proceeds of sales of the Lifestraw to providing clean water to schools in Kenya and India.  http://followthelitres.com/

If you’d like to see the Lifestraw, please visit EcoHouse and ask one of our education staff to show the new demo item.

 

Four Shades of Green

An update on our grass alternative beds

EcoHouse is getting greener — four shades greener to be exact!  Last summer we established four small test plots for different types of lawn alternatives, right in our own front yard.  We wanted to understand the benefits of each type firsthand, and be able to show visitors exactly how each would turn out.  This has been an exciting project right from the get-go.  There was much debate amongst staff and board as to which alternatives we should choose, and the four finalists that made it into the exhibit were: Continue reading

Green Venture and R.A. Riddell team up to Depave Paradise

December 2, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Green Venture and R.A. Riddell team up to Depave Paradise

Hamilton, ON – This year, we’ve launched something special to help give back to our community project and address some of our most complex and overwhelming environmental challenges. We are excited to announce the launch of our 2015 crowdfunding campaign for ‘Depave Paradise’ on Small Change Fund! Continue reading

Go Green this Halloween with our EEK-O-Friendly Tips!

In just a week, the trick-or-treaters will be out but celebrating Halloween doesn’t have to be a bellyache (unless you eat all that candy!). This year, why not swap one of your traditions for something a little more eco-friendly, say making your own decorations or mixing up some homemade face paint? Here are 10 ways to green your Halloween: Continue reading

Vendor Profile – Eat Industries Inc.

As many of you know, Green Venture’s 20th Anniversary Celebration UpRoot Hamilton is rapidly approaching – this Saturday Oct 3rd at EcoHouse. UpRoot Hamilton is a platform to showcase local food and drink in a beautiful heritage setting while celebrating 20 years of community outreach, education and making the Hamilton region a more environmentally-friendly place to work, live and play. Continue reading

Veevers Park – Clean and Green

On June 20th Green Venture set out to Veevers Park with a mission of ‘planting and beautification’. Several times a year, with the help of staff and volunteers, we head to our adopted park to do some tidying. These projects can include litter collection, planting, weeding, graffiti removal, painting, and anything else that the area might need. We adopted Veevers Park in 2013 to connect and contribute to the local area and community surrounding our office, Ecohouse. Continue reading

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities

This week, we updated the green roof demo at EcoHouse with some Sedums! A green roof or living roof is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. Green roofs are a beautiful and cost-efficient way to conserve energy, manage storm water, and insulate a building. Continue reading

Putting our Waste to Work

The 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. A familiar phrase and usually exhibited by any environmentally friendly program or event. We often talk about recycling more and consuming less, but today we wanted to focus on reusing. Continue reading