Vol­un­teers tear up pave­ment for new green space in down­town Peter­bor­ough

Un­used Wa­ter Street stub to be­come ex­ten­sion of Mil­len­nium Park

The Peterborough Examiner - - Local - TAY­LOR CLYSDALE

Peter­bor­ough vol­un­teers hacked and pried with tools to lift sec­tions of seg­mented pave­ment at the Wa­ter Street dead end stub on Thurs­day morn­ing to see the valu­able earth un­der­neath.

That dirt will even­tu­ally be­come an ex­ten­sion to down­town Peter­bor­ough’s Mil­len­nium Park and the Oton­abee River Trail, with the help of var­i­ous com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing GreenUP’s Depave Par­adise project.

Vol­un­teers joined in an ef­fort to clear up an un­used sec­tion of road, which was for­merly an en­trance to the down­town No Frills park­ing lot, dat­ing back to when it used to be a Cana­dian Tire store.

For years that en­trance has been cut off, leav­ing a valu­able sec­tion of space empty be­side one of the down­town’s most im­por­tant parks and trails.

Terry Guiel, ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Down­town Busi­ness Im­prove­ment Area (DBIA), called the space an “un­used, use­less area that serves no pur­pose.”

Work­ing with Peter­bor­ough GreenUP, the DBIA is spend­ing $87,000 to re­claim the space and add it to the park.

“The DBIA, with GreenUP, from day one have had co­pi­ous amounts of com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion and in­volve­ment in this project,” Guiel said.

The DBIA’s fund­ing rep­re­sents a small part of the com­mu­nity’s con­tri­bu­tions from other groups, in­clud­ing Mort­lock Con­struc­tion and Bat­tle­field Equip­ment, who pro­vided gear and work­ers for free, the to­tal in con­tri­bu­tions is closer to $200,000, he said.

But this isn’t the end of plans to nat­u­ral­ize un­used-ur­ban ar­eas.

This is the first of three an­nual projects by those or­ga­ni­za­tions to iden­tify and re­claim paved ar­eas and re­turn them to green spa­ces.

Dawn Pond, one of the or­ga­niz­ers of the project through GreenUP, said she wants the com­mu­nity to help iden­tify ar­eas that could be re­cov­ered.

Peo­ple can do that by shar­ing pic­tures of those places on so­cial me­dia with the hash­tag #DepaveMe.

While some ar­eas may be un­fea­si­ble to greenify, Pond said, it’s great to have peo­ple think­ing about the places they live and how they want to see them.

“It sup­ports the cause of mak­ing Peter­bor­ough more green,” she says of the com­mu­nity’s ef­forts.

She also says there are “a lot of these un­der­used spa­ces that are ne­glected and in a wasted area” that can be re­stored.

John MacMil­lan-Jones, who was cy­cling the area as the pave­ment was first be­ing sliced up on Wed­nes­day, said he goes through the area ev­ery day in his com­mute.

“It’s a great com­mu­nity project and the end re­sult is go­ing to be phe­nom­e­nally bet­ter than what we have now,” MacMil­lan-Jones said.

TAY­LOR CLYSDALE PETER­BOR­OUGH THIS WEEK

Vol­un­teers rip up pave­ment in an un­used sec­tion of road by Mil­len­nium Park in Peter­bor­ough. The sec­tion will be re­claimed as waterfront park space with green­ery planted.

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