From parking lot to paradise

Barrie's Unity Christian High School is a lot greener

April 22, 2016

Unity Christian High School partnered with Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, Windfall Ecology Centre and R.J. Burnside to coordinate the Depave event, which was the first phase of a much larger project to green the school grounds. Once complete, the project will become a demonstration site that showcases low impact development (LID) features and effective stormwater management techniques, such as rain gardens, bioswales, permeable pavement, and more.

On Friday April 22, 2016, Unity CHS students, staff and community members removed approximately 900 square feet of pavement from around their school. Prior to this event, the school's property was nearly 100% paved and impermeable, producing large volumes of rain and stormwater runoff that flowed untreated into storm drains and into nearby Lake Simcoe.

Removing hard surfaces, like pavement, and replacing them with LID features, like rain gardens, native plants and grasses, and permeable surfaces, allows rainwater to infiltrate and filter into the ground naturally, preventing polluted runoff from reaching Lake Simcoe.

Student Benefits

Students will benefit from the increased green space surrounding the school and it will encourage students, other schools, businesses and the community to rethink the use of paved surfaces and development of urban spaces. As part of their curriculum, Unity CHS students will help with the design and creation of certain features of the school yard greening, such as rain gardens, while learning about the importance of these LID features and their overall role in the watershed.

Thanks to everyone involved

Thank you to everyone involved in this project, especially the Unity Christian High School students and staff, Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority, R.J. Burnside, Windfall Ecology Centre, the Lake Simcoe Conservation Foundation, the Barrie Lion's Club and Green Communities Canada.

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