Why one Hamilton school is turning pavement into a garden

A Hamilton school is turning asphalt into green space to prevent storm water runoff.

The new green space will divert 47,000 litres of water annually

(Jessica Palumbo)

A local Hamilton school is bringing some colour back to its playground.

Volunteers and students removed asphalt from their schoolyard to create a new garden, the project is called Depave Paradise.

(Jessica Palumbo)

The purpose of the event is to remove pavement, asphalt and hard surfaces to divert water from getting into the sewer system.

"The whole green space is supposed to be a very water absorbent space so the water is no longer going to run off into our sewer system that is pretty overloaded here in Hamilton," Program coordinator, Laura Anderson said.

(Jessica Palumbo)

She says, according to the rainfall in Hamilton the 50 metres squared green space at St. Brigid will divert 47,000 litres of water annually.

(Jessica Palumbo)

Green Venture, a non-profit environmental organization based in Hamilton runs the Depave Paradise events.

(Jessica Palumbo)

"It's a huge Education project. We try to educate the community and the students about what happens to rain when it hits the pavement versus when it hits the green space," Anderson said. 

(Jessica Palumbo)
St. Brigid Catholic Elementary School was the fourth Depave Paradise event, the green space was designed by students.

Green Venture has been running Depave Paradise in Hamilton since 2012.

(Jessica Palumbo)

The project is funded by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change in partnership with the Hamilton Harbour Remedial Action Plan.

"We're trying to keep the Hamilton Harbour as clean as possible. There are a lot of pollutants that come with storm water runoff," Anderson said.  

(Jessica Palumbo)

Cheriene Vieira, from the Ministry of the Environment and climate change says, "It's important to implement these projects to keep the community aware of environmental cleanup and what they can do."

(Jessica Palumbo)

One volunteer, Sam Campanella, says he volunteered to "make a difference in the lives of the community."

(Jessica Palumbo)

The asphalt was taken out April 28. Students and volunteers will plant the garden this Friday.