Depave Paradise Program
Thriving community garden
2 years post-Depave project in Perkinsfield Park. Township of Tiny, Ontario, 2021. Image courtesy of Depave Paradise Program, Green Communities Canada.
Quantity of removed asphalt
to support a Depave project. Lakefield, Ontario, July 2021. Image courtesy of Depave Paradise Program, Green Communities Canada.
Hard surfaces like driveways, parking lots and buildings interrupt the natural water cycle and prevent rain from soaking into the ground and increase flood risks. Additionally, when hard surfaces prevent water from soaking into the ground, this water picks up pollutants such as oils, chemicals and sand, and carries these contaminants into waterways. This can lead to water pollution, causing problems such poor water quality and beach closures, impacting drinking water sources and harming wildlife. As the climate changes, flooding and the heat island effect (an increase in localized temperatures due to urbanization and development) are real concerns, and municipalities and their communities are looking for dynamic solutions to these problems.
Low Impact Development (LID) and Green Infrastructure (GI) are key components of a Depave project. LID refers to systems and practices that use or mimic natural processes that result in the infiltration or use of stormwater in order to protect water quality and related habitat. Green infrastructure is defined as the natural vegetative systems and green technologies that collectively provide society with a multitude of economic, environmental, health, and social benefits. Increasing the amount of GI in our communities can help to reduce the amount of pollutants that are directly deposited into our waterways and help to preserve and protect our environment. Besides protecting water quality, GI can offer a huge range of benefits such as: reducing noise by acting as a buffer, providing shade and cooling, and reducing the likelihood of both flooding and air pollution. GI also has added co-benefits such as reducing stress, increasing relaxation and improved mental health.
Depaving by hand connects people to each other and to their neighbourhood, giving them a sense of ownership, and inspiring them to make positive changes in their community. Depaving
is an excellent opportunity to educate the public about stormwater, local wildlife, pollinators, the value of the urban tree canopy, and the importance of beautifying our communities. Depave projects can include rain gardens, edible gardens, pollinator gardens, planting of trees, and green playgrounds.
Are You Interested in Hosting a Depave Event with Your School, Place of Worship or Business?
Depave events bring people and communities together to create more ecologically-sound, healthier and more beautiful urban environments. By becoming involved in a Depave event, your organization will be recognized as a local climate champion, concerned with supporting the environmental sustainability of your community. Contact SSEA’s Watershed Resilience Coordinator at CResilience@severnsound.ca to get involved as a volunteer or to host your own Depave event.
Depave Paradise Event
In May and June of 2022, the SSEA along with Township of Georgian Bay removed 100m2 of asphalt from an unused skating rink and planted a pollinator garden at Honey Harbour Park. This kick started park revitalization efforts and providing hands on educational opportunities for local volunteers, including from the Baxter Ward Lion’s Club and students at Honey Harbour Public School.