Transforming Asphalt into Green Space
Manor Park Community Council and Manor Park Community Association are working with EnviroCentre to transform old asphalt into gardens in Manor Park as part of the Depave Paradise initiative. Depave Paradise is a project of Green Communities Canada, where community organizations and volunteers convert unused asphalt into beautiful green spaces. Over the last decade, Depave Paradise has converted 14,000 m2 of paved surfaces across Canada into green spaces (that’s equivalent to 2.5 football fields!). (more)
This June, a Depave Paradise project is coming to Manor Park! The concept behind Depave Paradise is simple: citizens transform impervious urban surfaces into beautiful green spaces using their own power.
EnviroCentre, Manor Park Community Council, and Manor Park Community Association are working with the Yule Manor Housing Cooperative to identify areas of unused asphalt that can be removed and turned into living green space. The Yule Manor Housing Cooperative is on London Terrace, just east of S. Laurent Blvd and north of the (former) Dairy Queen. On a weekend in June, volunteers will use pry bars and shovels to break up and remove pre-cut pavement, replacing it with gardens. Music will be playing, snacks will be provided, and community members will get to know each other as they work together to green our community.
There are many reasons to depave unused asphalt areas. Hard surfaces prevent rainwater from soaking into the ground, which increases risks of flooding. Rainwater runoff collects pollutants and carries them to rivers and streams, impacting our aquatic ecosystems. Urban hardscapes, such as asphalt and buildings, also create heat islands. Sun reflecting off buildings and pavement can increase urban temperatures by as much as 23 degrees C compared to surrounding greenspaces. Removing unused asphalt and replacing it with native plants, trees, and shrubs, helps to mitigate some of these environmental impacts.
Depaving is a win-win for the community and the environment. Depaving projects are carried out by groups of volunteers who remove pre-cut asphalt by hand, connecting people to each other and to their neighbourhood. People who come together and volunteer their time as they transform asphalt into beautiful gardens feel empowered and have a greater sense of stewardship towards their neighbourhood.
EnviroCentre will coordinate the preparatory work for the depave project in Manor Park, which includes hiring contractors to cut asphalt into pieces that can be removed by hand, arranging for the delivery of bins to collect the asphalt (a recyclable material), providing tools and safety gear for volunteers, and creating a garden plan for the selected site.
Volunteer to help us 'Depave Paradise' firstname.lastname@example.org