depave

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.

DEPAVE PARADISE: St. Brigid Catholic School joins the growing movement to tear up asphalt in schoolyards

HAMILTON, ON – DEPAVE PARADISE (www.depaveparadise.ca) projects engage volunteers and neighbourhoods in communities across Canada, removing pavement and planting gardens filled with native species in its place. On April 28th starting at 3pm they’ll be liberating the soil at St. Brigid’s by removing the asphalt by hand (and pry-bar) in a community work bee. Beautification projects like these are proven to increase sense of community ownership and stewardship, foster the development of community identity, bring people with various background together to work on a common goal, and help build community leaders.  They’ll return on May 5th to plant a new garden in the depaved space. Green Venture, St. Brigid Catholic Elementary School, 14th Hamilton Scout Group and local community members will be hosting Hamilton’s 4th Depave Paradise event to transform part of the school’s asphalt playground into a green space created through student-driven design. The garden will be split into four quadrants to represent the student’ vision including a peace garden, butterfly garden, rain garden and sensory garden.

Depaving Day:
Friday April 28th, 2017 3:00pm-7:30pm

Planting Day:

Friday May 5th, 2017 3:00pm-7:30pm

FROM PAVEMENT TO PARADISE!

Ontario’s Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, a key funder of this project, says that managing rain where it falls should be the first priority of stormwater management, to help meeting water quantity and quality targets in waterways. One of the key issues for Hamilton Harbour is the impact of urban runoff which contributes to high nutrient concentration and sediment into the Harbour. Hard surfaces, such as driveways, parking lots and buildings, interrupt the natural water cycle by preventing rain water from soaking into the ground. By removing pavement and replacing it with green space, we are increasing the infiltration rate of rain water, cooling our neighbourhoods, keeping our water clean, and providing us and our children with greater connections to the natural world.

Bring your family and friends, young and old, and join St. Brigid and partners transform the schoolyard pavement into a vibrant and engaging green space for all to enjoy!

Volunteers are needed! This is a family friendly event and all are welcome. We will provide all necessary tools and safety equipment as well as food and drink for all volunteers. Please arrive dressed for the weather (Rain or Shine!), wearing sturdy shoes and be ready to get your hands dirty.

For more information about how you can get involved contact Laura Anderson, Program Coordinator at laura.anderson@greenventure.ca or 905-540-8787 ext. 158.

Many thanks go to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Ontario Trillium Foundation for funding support provided for this project.  Our project partners: Green Venture, Depave Paradise, Green Communities Canada, St. Brigid, Bay Area Restoration Council, 14th Hamilton Scouts, Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan, HWCDSB and many more!