From parking lot to paradise

Creating green space at St. John Chrysostom CES in Newmarket

June 6, 2019

On Thursday June 6, 2019, Windfall Ecology Centre teamed up with the York Catholic District School Board and Evergreen to depave and transform the Kindergarten yard at St. John Chrysostom CES in Newmarket.

Over 150 staff, students, parents, and project partners attended the Depave event and eagerly worked together to green their school's Kindergarten yard. Using pry bars and wheelbarrows, enthusiastic volunteers got their hands dirty and removed over 70 square meters of pavement to make way for green space for the students.

The new Kindergarten yard will feature native trees, mulch, natural log seating areas, and vertical log stepping posts. The seating areas can be used by teachers as a gathering place for lessons, stories, sharing and play. Two raised garden beds will be added to the Kindergarten yard for students to grow native plants, flowers and edible plants in the hopes of encouraging butterflies and insects.

By removing pavement and replacing it with mulch and native trees, we are working to help our local bodies of water by allowing excess stormwater to absorb naturally into the ground rather than runoff into storm drains and local streams and rivers. By planting native trees, we have increased the urban tree canopy within York Region and reduced heat island effect within the schoolyard by providing shade for students.

This project has been made possible with generous funding from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation and the Ontario Trillium Foundation. This project was a collaborative project between Windfall Ecology Centre, the York Catholic District School Board, and Evergreen, in partnership with Depave Paradise, Green Communities Canada, The Regional Municipality of York, the North Newmarket Lions Club, Made Good, and Earthbound Trees.

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