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Media Release
For Immediate Release

Digging In To De-Pave

LSRCA helps Unity Christian High School reclaim their green space

Group removes slabs of pavement in Barrie
Unity Christian High School principal Aaron Harnden joins students Mika and Marissa to reclaim paradise at the school’s first de-pave event in Barrie on Earth Day. Students and community members helped remove pavement to make space for green initiatives such as rain gardens.

Newmarket, ON - April 25, 2016 - Unity Christian High School will be looking greener in the following months, thanks to a joint effort by students and community members who participated in Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority’s (LSRCA) first de-pave event in Barrie on Earth Day. The de-pave was the first step in a project that will green the school grounds, literally and figuratively. Once complete, the project will become a demonstration site that showcases low impact development (LID) and effective stormwater management techniques.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have helped reclaim a small piece of paradise at our first de-pave event in Barrie,” explained Andee Pelan, watershed coordinator, LSRCA. “By removing hard surfaces like pavement and replacing it with permeable pavements and gardens, we are allowing rain to absorb into the ground naturally, preventing polluted run-off from reaching our lake untreated.” 

Prior to the de-pave, Unity Christian High School’s property was nearly one hundred per cent impervious, meaning that it was paved with hard, non-absorbent surfaces such as asphalt. Removing pavement and replacing it with plants allows for improved water infiltration and groundwater supply, as well as natural shading that will cool the school grounds and neighbouring properties.

“Teaching our students the vast benefits of green space is important to our school, and we hope that by de-paving our property, we will encourage our students, their families, and other schools and businesses to rethink the use and development of urban spaces,” said Aaron Harnden, principal and teacher, Unity Christian High School.

The removal of hard surfaces allows for the creation of LID features such as community gardens, permeable pavement and rain gardens. As part of their curriculum, Unity students will help with the design and creation of these features, with emphasis on rain garden design.

This phase of the project will be completed in partnership with Windfall Ecology Centre, the Lake Simcoe Conservation Foundation and R.J. Burnside and Associates Limited. The South Barrie Lions Club joined in the event and showed their support by providing a free community BBQ. 

It is the mission of the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority to work with our community to protect and restore the Lake Simcoe watershed by leading research, policy and action.

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Media Contact:
Sue Jagminas
Corporate Communications
Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority
Phone: 905-895-1281, ext. 264
Toll Free: 1-800-465-0437
Email:s.jagminas@LSRCA.on.ca

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