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Jun 01

[ARCHIVED] District Secures Grant to Help Depave Puget Sound

The original item was published from June 1, 2017 12:50 PM to June 1, 2017 1:12 PM

Cover Photo - Credit Sara Best
Volunteers have helped Depave over 17,000 sq.ft. of pavement in the last three years and through a new grant, the District plans to triple that total over the next two years with three new projects. (Photo courtesy of Sara Best)

Our efforts to remove excess pavement and replace it with green space to benefit communities and reduce pollution from stormwater runoff just got a big boost! After more than two years of work with the Puget Sound Partnership and other regional partners, the District is excited to announce the award of a National Estuary Program grant to help spread the Depave program throughout the Puget Sound.

This two-year grant will fund three different Depave projects that will each serve as a case study for a “How-To” guidebook and video series we’ll produce and share with local government partners throughout our region. Our hope is that these resources will make it easy for other conservation districts, non-profits, cities, and counties to adopt their own Depave programs and dramatically increase the impact of this great program.
Dozens of volunteers helped Depave 7,000sq.ft.
of pavement along McKinley Ave in Tacoma 
and plant it with 2,800 shrubs and 30 trees.

Since 2014 the District has completed five Depave projects, which have removed a total of 17,760 sq.ft. of pavement and replaced it with 55 urban trees and hundreds of shrubs. As a result, over 450,000 gallons of polluted stormwater runoff is filtered back into the ground annually. By comparison, the first project we will be implementing with these grant funds at the Holy Rosary Church in Tacoma will remove over 17,000 sq.ft. of pavement!

Now imagine if a few years from now 100 Depave projects happen each year in communities throughout the Puget Sound…hundreds of thousands of square feet of pavement replaced with trees and green space and millions of gallons of polluted stormwater kept out of Puget Sound…each year.That’s a vision we think is worth working towards and we look forward to your help making it happen.

In order to help spread the program, we’re planning an out of jurisdiction project at Fairview Christian School & Child Center in Seattle in partnership with Sustainable Seattle. The Holy Rosary Church Depave is planned for August with more details still to come.

For our third project, we’re hoping to find a partner to do a parking lot retrofit to replace the regular pavement with permeable pavement, so if you have suggestions on potential locations or partners, submit your ideas to Melissa Buckingham, MelissaB@piercecd.org.

We would like to thank the Environmental Protection Agency, which administers the National Estuary Program(NEP) to protect and restore water quality; the Puget Sound Partnership for facilitating the local NEP process; the WA Department of Ecology; and all of our many local partners that have made this project possible.