On the corner of NE 62nd Ave. and NE Stanton St. is the parking lot for Word & Spirit Church. This is where I met with other Depave volunteers on September 8th to break up and remove about 2,000 square feet of asphalt from this 10,000 square foot lot to make room for some new greenspace. You can get there from our neighborhood, Foster-Powell, by biking along 60th Ave. to Halsey and cutting over to 61st Ave. till reaching Stanton St.
Depave is a volunteer-driven nonprofit dedicated to removing unused paved areas to create greenspaces in communities around Portland. These new greenspaces are cool improvements to neighborhoods, and as an added benefit they help capture and clean stormwater runoff.
Depave volunteers gave us a demonstration of how to bust up asphalt, led stretching exercises, and provided refreshments. The process involved prying up slabs of pre-cut asphalt with steel pry bars, flipping the slabs onto a fragment of asphalt to crack them into smaller pieces, and hauling the pieces by wheelbarrow to a debris container. The asphalt will get recycled into aggregate at a nearby facility. It's tough work, but it's easier than it sounds. And, it's a whole lot of fun working together with new and old friends to create a beautiful new space.
When the depaving was over, I discovered a great Thai restaurant, called Thai Seasons, on Sandy Blvd. and NE 59th Ave. nearby. They offer local ingredients and hormone/antibiotic-free meats.
On October 6th this year, Depave will lead a planting party to install native plants and trees in the parking lot's new bioswales and raingarden.
This unique Intertwine Alliance partner is pioneering the transformation of asphalt into eden. Check out more photos from this and other Depave projects around Portland.