Some Frequently Asked Questions

Why Depave?

Hard surfaces, such as parking lots prevent rain from soaking into the ground, increasing flood risk and polluting water in rivers and lakes. They also create heat sinks, warming up our cities. By removing unused pavement and replacing it with native plants, trees and shrubs we are replenishing groundwater, cooling and beautifying our neighbourhoods.

Why depave by hand?

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 building our cities to capture stormwater, grow food, support wildlife, add to the urban tree canopy, and beautify our cities.

What can you do with a Depave Paradise site?

Once you tear up the pavement there are lots of options for greening. Past projects have included rain gardens, edible gardens, sensory gardens, naturalization, planting of trees, and green playgrounds. If you’re not sure what you want to do, we can help you explore your options and create a plan.

What makes a good Depave Paradise site?

There are a few factors that make a good Depave Paradise location, they include:

  • An area of unused pavement about 100m2 or bigger, like a courtyard, extra unused  parking spots, or a paved boulevard.
  • A keen site owner.
  • Public or publicly accessible property (school, church, boulevard, storefront, etc.)
  • Volunteers or staff to care for the new plants and trees.
How do you depave?

On depaving day, volunteers work in teams to remove pre-cut squares of pavement using pry bars and shovels. Sometimes gravel and compacted fill is also removed from below the pavement. Then, volunteers plant the site. Planting can take place on the same day or at a later date.

What tools do you need?

Volunteers need a variety of hand tools, such as shovels, wheelbarrows, and pry bars. Safety gear is a must, including steel toed boots, work gloves, and dust masks.  A Depave Paradise coordinator will help you obtain the necessary tools for your event, along with any additional heavy equipment and services that may be needed.

How do I organize a Depave Paradise project?

Call us to arrange training and support. We have a streamlined process for consultation, planning, and organizing Depave Paradise and planting events.

Why work with Depave Paradise?

If you are interested in depaving and don’t quite know how to get going, Depave Paradise can help. We’ve got a tested process, detailed training program, resources, tools, and a national peer learning network of Depave Paradise coordinators. We can help you maximize public and media engagement, secure support, ensure that events are fun and safe, and that project sites are enjoyed years into the future.

Why host a Depave event at your school, church or place of business?

Depave Paradise events bring people and communities together to create healthier and more beautiful urban environments. The media coverage of your event and community engagement will allow you to expand your networks and be recognized as an organization interested in the well-being of your community.

What is expected of a site host?

A site host is the organization or group that hosts a Depave Paradise event on their property. Site hosts sign an agreement with the coordinating organization to outline the different roles and responsibilities they will take on, which might include designing the green space, promoting the event, engaging volunteers, and caring for the green space in the years to come.

What does it cost to hold a Depave Paradise event?

The cost of Depave Paradise events varies depending on the funding available and what you want done on your site. We do our best to minimize these costs. Your local Depave Paradise Coordinator will discuss with you what funding is available and what costs can be covered. They may also be able to help you gather in-kind and cash support for the project.

Are children allowed to participate in Depave Paradise events?

No. Children under 12 are not allowed to actually depave. A separate entertainment or children’s area is set up to allow them to be onsite and engaged in revisioning the urban jungle. Children over 12 are able to participate if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian who assumes responsibility for them. Children of any age are allowed to participate in planting activities after depaving is complete.

More questions?