Looking for a great way to get involved in the community this summer, and build some muscles smashing pavement at the same time? Depave is a people-powered nonprofit organization that partners with landowners and local groups to remove excess and unwanted pavement from urban areas and create community green spaces like bioswales and food gardens.
Impervious area (hard surfaces like concrete and asphalt) prevents rainwater from soaking into the ground. Instead, it runs off into sewer pipes or nearby streams and rivers. Along the way, the runoff can pick up pollutants such as oil, antifreeze, pesticides and heavy metals. These pollutants end up in our waterways, harming habitat and polluting the water. Removing pavement and adding back trees and plants to the land reduces the amount of stormwater runoff and pollution entering our waterways.
Since 2008, Depave has removed over 123,000 square feet of pavement (more than the area of two pro football fields!) to create 40 new greenspaces in Portland. Combined, these projects divert nearly 2.9 million gallons of stormwater from the storm drains annually. They also add native plants, reduce flooding, improve air quality, create nature in our neighborhoods and many other benefits.
Need more reasons? Smashing pavement is FUN, and the people are great.
Check out the photos from a recent project Depave, Faith Community Church and the Russian Speaking Network of Oregon completed: http://depave.org/faith-church/
Here are 2 ways to get involved:
Become a Crew Leader for the 2015 summer-fall season.
Learn more about Crew Leading and RSVP to attend the orientation on May 16th here: www.depave.org/crew-leaders
Nominate a site to turn from gray to green.
Depave has an exciting season planned for 2015 but is always on the lookout for candidate sites for future depaving in the Portland Metro Area. Tired of that unused parking lot in your neighborhood? Know of an area badly in need of greenspace? Depave would love to hear from you: http://depave.org/site-recruitment/