Our second Depave Paradise event in London was part of the Jeanne Sauvé French Immersion Public School playground. The focus of this project was to remove unnecessary pavement from the school yard and replace it with large gardens full of native plants to boost biodiversity and give the community an example of naturalization in the area. This school is the heart of a rich community and as part of a full schoolyard construction project, Depave Paradise is the first step towards a greener playground for current and future students to benefit from.
With support from volunteers, we successfully met our goals. 100 square metres of under-utilized pavement was removed and replaced it with gardens full of different native plant varieties with an emphasis on pollinator-friendly species.
Over 60 individual plants were added from 22 different native plant species, including some fan favourites such as Nannyberry, Blazing Star, and Butterfly Milkweed. These plants will help reduce heat, chemical and stormwater pollution, prevent litter from entering our local water systems, improve native biodiversity and natural habitat, and add to the overall enjoyment of public space. The removal of pavement also helps reduce heat trapped in dark surfaces and reduce urban heat island effects. The benefits are wide and will have everlasting effects on our local climate.
Between June 10 and June 16, TVDSB staff and students volunteered to complete the majority of this work. The success of this project is a testament to their enthusiasm and hard work. We are grateful to have had such an eager and dedicated group of people to work alongside. It is amazing to see communities working together on important environmental initiatives and taking action to improve their surroundings. 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.
In addition to the plants, the site now features armourstone seating facing the school, as well as a sign to educate the public on a number of local pollinator species they may be able to spot in the new gardens. The educational component is key when working with young students and a groundbreaking project such as this, and through permanent signage and event days, we hope to be successful at encouraging others to follow along.
We highly encourage everyone to visit to enjoy the completed project.
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, Thames Valley District School Board, City of London, TRY Recycling, Heeman's, MTE Consultants, McCabe Promotional Advertising Inc., Stone Paradise, and the AGAPE Foundation of London.
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: