Our first Depave Paradise event in St. Thomas, located at the Horton Farmers' Market, was a success! This project's focus was on adding a pop of native plants to improve the stormwater management and local wildlife biodiversity on the site. 

With support from volunteers, we removed 70 square metres of under-utilized pavement and replaced it with gardens full of native and local plant varieties.

The site, which was bare asphalt prior, now features a low retaining wall that doubles as alternative seating for market visitors, supplemented by a garden featuring over 75 native plants.

These plants will provide plenty of benefits outside of their improvement to native biodiversity and pollinator habitat. They also help with the reduction of heat and chemical pollution, and reducing pollution to our stormwater systems, improving local water system health. The removal of pavement also helps reduce heat trapped in dark surfaces and reduce urban heat island effects. On top of all the environmental benefits, this project helped improves the overall enjoyment of space, with beautiful colours and places to sit. 

The success of this project is due to the help and hard work of our incredible volunteers. 35 individuals came out and got their hands dirty for the environment, removing asphalt, building a retaining wall, adding soil, and planting a variety of plants. It certainly is not easy work and we are so grateful to have had such enthusiastic groups participate in this project. Another thank you to Katherine Fisher, for serenading the volunteers while they put plants in the ground. 

A huge thank you to the staff at MTE Consultants for breaking ground. They are a business committed to sustainability that shows through not only by volunteering with us but also their ongoing work with Green Economy London on reaching other sustainability goals. 

Thank you to our fantastic local project partners who are offering their time, services, and products to make this Depave Paradise another successful event: 

Green Communities Canada, City of St. Thomas, St. Thomas EDC, Railway City Tourism, Horton Farmers' Market, TRY Recycling, Heeman's, MTE Consultants, McCabe Promotional Advertising Inc., Stone Paradise, Southwestern Public Health, and the J.P. Bickell Foundation.

We love working with local organizations for our community programs, and we are looking forward to continuing greening spaces in 2023.


Check out the sign:

Cole Taylor


(He/ They) Environmental Design + Planning