Green Communities Canada (GCC) is continuing their mission to make the country a greener place and the London Environmental Network says they’re proud to help.
The Depave Paradise Program is a national green infrastructure initiative by the GCC that replaces unused pavement in urban areas with green spaces.
Established in 2012, GCC and local partners, such as London Environment Network, have reached a milestone of completing 80 projects, including two preformed this year in London and St. Thomas, Ont.
Peterborough Depave Paradise project, largest of its kind in Canada
“Depaving our urban environment is a key aspect of climate action,” said Cole Tayler, green infrastructure program lead for the London Environmental Network. “It simultaneously reduces the heat trapped in dark impervious surfaces while also contributing to a healthy natural ecosystem – all through volunteer-led action.”
Jeanne Sauvé French Immersion School in London and Horton Farmers’ Market in St. Thomas saw 170 m2 of pavement transformed into greenspace with the help of 97 community members participating in asphalt removal, ground prep, planting native plants and more.
Collectively, both sites now hold more than 500 plants set to “contribute for a more resilient future.”
Last year, Fanshawe College was chosen as one of the desired locations on the Depave Paradise Program’s list.
“We’re proud of the efforts that have gone into creating and maintaining these 80 sites across the country and know that each represents the dedication and hard work of many individuals, local organizations, and municipalities, who took it upon themselves to help make their communities a better place,” said Brianna Salmon, executive director of the GCC.
“As we look ahead, we are seeking ways to support strategic efforts to mainstream green infrastructure, moving beyond demonstration sites and towards meaningful changes to the way we build and design climate-resilient cities together,” she added.
The growing need to keep cities cool
According to the GGC, the program has partnered with 29 community organizations to remove at least 16,000 m2 of unused asphalt from sites in 32 Canadian cities.
“Together, the rainwater absorbed by these sites removes more than 24,000 kg of pollutants from entering local waterways annually by diverting stormwater from traditional drainage and pipe systems,” the not-for-profit said.
“By giving back to our communities and our environment, we are able to continue to build a stronger, greener, and more resilient London for future generations,” added Taylor.
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