Renewing & Beautifying Community Spaces

Depave Paradise is a project of Green Communities Canada and Green Venture that engages volunteers and neighbourhoods in Canadian communities to remove pavement (by hand!) and plant gardens filled with native species or install permeable surfaces in its place.  Hard surfaces, such as driveways, parking lots and buildings, interrupt the natural water cycle by preventing rain water from soaking into the ground.  This in turn leads to flooding, poor water quality, and creates urban heat islands that are warming up our cities.  By removing pavement and replacing it with green space, we are increasing the infiltration rate of rainwater, cooling our neighbourhoods, keeping our water clean by filtering polluted runoff, increasing natural habitat for birds, bees, and butterflies, and providing us and our children with greater connections to the natural world.

Through partnerships with local schools, organizations and community groups, Green Venture removes asphalt and concrete to renew and beautify community spaces by adding natural playgrounds, community vegetable gardens, trees, rain gardens, permeable pavers and other permeable surfaces. In addition to building a strong sense of community, this program also increases usable public space and frequently improves a community’s water quality.

 

Since 2012 Green Venture has Depaved:

1056 m² of Asphalt on 9 Sites

And absorbed 880,000L of stormwater annually

 

Beyond community building, the benefits of depaving are numerous and include:

  • Decreasing the runoff of stormwater to lower its impacts on our sewers and help improve our community’s water quality and restore natural hydrologic cycle
  • Increasing urban green space and ecosystems present in our cities and reversing the proliferation of hard surfaces
  • Educating residents about the effects of stormwater runoff and benefits of permeable surfaces, green space and reconnecting the urban landscape to nature
  • Fostering behavioural change and community engagement
  • Decrease the heat island effect and help cool urban areas

Depave in the News

Dundas School Depaves Paradise

The Yorkview Elementary School community transformed a 172-square-metre section of asphalt playground into a green learning space that will help improve storm water management.

Depave Paradise & Liberate a Parking Lot

Joni Mitchell’s famous song, “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot,” has been playing in my ears since learning of this exciting project coming to our neighbourhood.

Depaving Paradise & Taking Down a Parking Lot

Your spellchecker won’t recognize it and auto-correct might mutate its letters into “repave” or “deprave,” but it’s become one of the latest buzzwords among green adventurers.

Our Past Depave Projects:

Yorkview Elementary School - Fall 2019

Area Depaved: 172m2

Students, staff, administration and community volunteers created an environmental learning space at Yorkview Elementary School. Two rain gardens, hundreds of native trees, shrubs and plants and 10 garden boxes, one for each class, we’re created by volunteers.

Adelaide Hoodless Elementary School – Fall 2017

Area Depaved: 202m2

Over 100 parents, students, teachers and administrative staff helped to Depave this area to create a natural green space for students including a permeable pathway through a rain garden, butterfly garden, native grass garden, sensory garden and the “Lake Adelaide” garden.

New Horizons Thrift Shop & Collectables – Fall 2017

Area Depaved: 50m2

Welcome Inn Community Centre and New Horizons Thrift Shop partnered with Green Venture to install 2100 square feet of EcoRaster permeable pavers at the James St. parking lot. Seeded with microgreens with parking lot with absorb and filter stormwater!

Our Lady of Vietnam & Holy Family Parish – Spring 2017

Area Depaved: 113m2

Homeside Hub Community Planning Team, Crown Point Planning Committee, the Crown Point Garden Club, and Green Venture partnered to change four parking spots in the lot into a vibrant garden for all to enjoy!

Monseigneur de Laval – Spring 2017

Area Depaved: 185m2

Students and staff from Monseigneur de Laval depaved a portion of their schoolyard to create an outdoor classroom!

St. Brigid Catholic Elementary School – Spring 2017

Area Depaved: 53m2

St. Brigid school transformed a section of their asphalt yard into a green space. Each student participated by drawing their vision for the area, then helped to make it a reality by planting, mulched, raking, depaving and watering!

R.A. Riddell Elementary School, Hamilton – 2016

Area Depaved: 58m2

St. Margaret Mary Catholic Elementary School, Hamilton – 2014

Area Depaved: 130m2

St. Augustine Catholic Elementary School, Hamilton, 2012

Area Depaved: 93m2

Depave Paradise Pictures