One of our neighbours, Daniel Buckles, has had an op-ed article published in this Saturday’s Ottawa Citizen. It points to our Pontiac street depaving and suggests something similar for downtown. You can read it online at https://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/buckles-how-closing-ottawa-bus-lanes-can-open-a-green-corridor
Envirocentre (https://www.envirocentre.ca/) has put together this slide show video about the Pontiac Street depaving day, complementing our photos of the Pontiac Park Expansion.
A timeline of the park expansion is at https://champlainpark.org/park/pontiac-depaving-and-park-expansion/
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!
Enviro Centre team with Champlain Park Community Association volunteer, Debra Huron, set up coffee (Bridgehead) and bagels (Ottawa Bagel Shop) as well as supplying tools and safety gear for volunteers. Photo by John Arnason.
Here’s a quick photo essay of the core work cycle at the depaving ceremony this morning. There were other things happening too, like a kids amusement spot with pumpkins and paint (they helped out near the end, moving small road fragments), an outfitting area and sponsored snacks. Hopefully we’ll have time to write a longer story later and give credit to the people and groups who helped with the depaving event.
The pick-axe crew at work, digging up the slabs.
Loading slabs onto the wheelbarrows. Councillor Jeff Leiper (in white) lends a hand.
Back and forth the wheelbarrow convoy goes.
Lining up to drop off asphalt squares. The front end loader lifts batches of them up into the dumpster.
We’re holding a depaving ceremony on Saturday, October 5th 2019 from 09:30 to noon. Come and grab a chunk of asphalt (already pre-scored into squares) from the section of Pontiac that we’re converting to park, and throw it out! This is literally a community effort. Equipment and safety gear will be provided.
Daniel Buckles writes:
That was easy! All planters have been picked up, with one water-helper from last year now taking #3 between Alexandra’s herb’s and Lori’s tall grasses (Thanks Kathy). Everyone has the go ahead to proceed when you are ready. Fabulous.
FYI, the Pontiac Ave depaving may occur in September of this year (or later). This does not affect your plans, other than at harvest time. The depaving is managed by Councillor Leiper’s office, with Adrian Bradley as the local association executive contact for this. Jeff has confirmed verbally that the 7 planters will remain in the community even after the depaving is complete (although locations may change).
As of now, I am formally bowing out of the coordinator role. The group information is below, so I will leave it to one of you to pick up the reins of keeping each other in touch and supporting as needed. This might include putting up a notice of progress once in a while to the community association website.
Thanks for your enthusiastic planting and tending. I remain active in the neighbourhood on tree planting and other environment projects. Cheers, Daniel
- Heather Pearl
- Alexandra Evershed
- Kathy Choquettee
- Lori Kibbee
- Lianne Bellisario
- Kelly Wiles
- Lauren Simon
Report on Environmental Initiatives Meeting – January 17
The Environment Committee of the Champlain Park Community Association met with interested residents at the Field House on Thursday, January 17. There were 16 people at the meeting engaged in informative discussions and amicable debates about steps we are taking together to foster sustainable living in a healthy urban environment (the Committee mission). Follow this link to the Environment Committee page for detail.
Daniel Buckles and Adrian Bradley, Co-chairs, Environment Committee