Community Effort to Remove Pavement on Pontiac Street and Reclaim Paradise!!
Last Saturday, a family-friendly event was led by Councillor Jeff Leiper to de-pave one block of Pontiac Street and to re-connect the green space of Champlain Park directly to NCC lands accessing the Ottawa river.
The Councillor received sponsorship from the City with funds from cash-in-lieu of parkland money and a small grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Energetic community volunteers showed up to dig up sections of pavement and transfer them to City dumpsters. The volunteers were organized by Enviro Centre and Champlain Park Community Association, with coffee from Bridgehead and bagels from the Ottawa Bagel Shop.
In the near future, the City workers will finish digging the gravel base, adding soil, and seeding the area. The NCC will remove the fence and gravel on their side. Volunteers plan to landscape the NCC land with native species of ground cover, shrubs and trees. As Joni Mitchell sang in her song “Big Yellow Taxi”, “you don’t know what you’ve got, ’till it’s gone”. It’s not often a parking lot gets turned into parkland!
And finally, thanks to Carol Arnason for writing the text and most of the captions.