Press Release: Volunteers transformed obsolete tennis court into a welcoming green space

Saskatchewan Environmental Society
June 7, 2022
For Immediate Release

Volunteers transformed obsolete tennis court into a welcoming green space

Did you know that Saskatoon storm water flows into the South Saskatchewan River without being treated? Most of this runs right off our roads and sidewalks, picking up road salt, pet waste, litter, and other pollutants along the way.

To help slow down, soak up, and clean storm water in urban centres while also creating wildlife habitats and benefitting our broader community, the Saskatchewan Environmental Society and Walter Murray Collegiate in Saskatoon partnered to “depave” a small area of the school grounds on May 28, 2022, and then cultivated the site by planting native plants and trees on June 5, 2022. 

“Depave Paradise projects address hard surfaces in urban environments through the act of ripping up unused pavement and replacing it with soil and vegetation,” says Zoe Arnold, Depave Coordinator with the Saskatchewan Environmental Society. “We worked with approximately 100 community volunteers to transform 235m2 of the obsolete tennis court at Walter Murray Collegiate. This project raises awareness about the urban water cycle, while making measurable environmental impacts, reducing water runoff and contamination, and increasing green space.” 

“Students will gain a living laboratory in which they will learn about growing trees and plants that produce food in our cold climate. Food from this area will be provided to students, and school families in need, and will become part of a small, raised bed community garden already in the space,” says Kristine Levesque, a teacher at Walter Murray Collegiate. “This project provides an opportunity for the school community to engage with the larger surrounding community through the depaving and planting days, and through the long-term growing of food for the community. The school has made a commitment to continue long-term care of the green space being cultivated.

Depave Paradise is a project of Green Communities Canada, a network of member organizations and local partners that has supported over more than 65 Depave Paradise projects across Canada since 2012. 

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