September 13th, 2014 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Depave Paradise – Local Residents Transform Kitichissippi United Church’s Parking Lot Into A Garden
OTTAWA – Ottawa's first ever “Depave Paradise” project will be completed this Saturday September 13th when volunteers from local environmental organization Ecology Ottawa plant two large garden beds in Kitichissippi United Church’s parking lot.
“This has been a great start of a fantastic initiative to green our city and help mitigate the environmental problems caused by too much asphalt and concrete creating havoc for our storm-water management systems on rainy days,” Velta Tomsons, Ecology Ottawa’s Depave Paradise event organizer.
Until recently the church’s parking lot was wall-to-wall asphalt, but last June forty five Ecology Ottawa and United Church volunteers removed more than one hundred square metres of asphalt from the area using primarily hand tools. Starting at 9 AM this Saturday volunteers will come together again and lay down soil, plant shrubs, greenery and even a tree at Kitchissippi United Church, 630 Island Park Drive.
Depave Paradise seeks to address the overwhelming amount of asphalt in the city which drastically reduces the permeable surfaces capable of absorbing water. During heavy rains or storms, the storm-water capacity becomes overwhelmed and wastewater from city sewers overflows into the Ottawa River. This harms water quality and results in multiple beach closures in the summer through out the city.
“Trees and plants naturally act as sponges and contribute to the natural hydrological cycle. They also increase the mental and physical health of residents as well as diminish the heat island effects by cooling down our neighbourhoods,” Tomsons says.
The City of Ottawa’s Environment Committee voted last March to develop a Water Environment Strategy to deal with the cocktail of contaminants washing into Ottawa’s waterways when it rains. It will be up Ottawa’s newly elected city council to ensure a rigorous and effective strategy is adopted.
The Depave Pardise project at Kitichissippi United Church is a partnership between Ecology Ottawa, Green Communities Canada and Kitichissippi United Church. The event will take place between 9 - 5 PM.
For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact Velta Tomsons Ecology Ottawa Tree Organizer Phone: 613 - 860 - 5353, Email: velta.tomsons [at] ecologyottawa.ca
Ecology Ottawa is a not-for-profit, grassroots and volunteer-driven organization, working to make Ottawa the green capital of Canada. www.ecologyottawa.ca