De-paving in Portland

Post by Mike Klassen in


Good times! A community gathers to remove a whole lotta blacktop

My friends know that I've been an avid de-paver for years. I think more of us should be depaved (depraved?). I found this video thanks to the City of Vancouver's greenways goddess Sandy James who sent me the link for the depave blog. I've written before about my advocacy for the City's stalled country lanes program, and blogged about my self-described battles with blacktop.

When I purchased a home in east Vancouver many years ago I inherited layers of asphalt from the previous generation of owners. My yard for all intents and purposes was a parking lot for an RV or two. The day I moved in I pledged to "de-blacktop" or de-pave our property.

At first I tried to remove the blacktop by hand, with a lot of sweat and a prybar. Then last year I bit the bullet and hired a backhoe driver who in the span of eleven hours rid me of the nasty black stuff – nearly four dump trucks full as I recall. Today my yard is a gardener's delight, and it's cooler, greener and more inviting. No more off-gassing and dusty surroundings.

I still see a LOT of yards in my neighbourhood that are paved with asphalt. I'd love to have my own de-paving party if there was something with a community orientation like we see in the Portland video. I know from bitter experience that it's hard, heavy work to rid a property of asphalt. But, boy, if feels great when it's gone.

If any of our readers knows of any opportunity to de-pave here in town, drop me a line.


Get Home Depot to loan your group a couple of jack-hammers and offer a discount to your members in the Gardening department. Get it on the TV news.

Probably want to invite CofV Engineering to haul away the asphalt in City trucks (for free, 'cause it's green) to be recycled in the asphalt plant they (we) own.

Turn your yard into a "community farm", the tax breaks will pay for everything many times over.

Mike you are going all mushy and green on us. That video was full of hollyknockers and greenies. Are you becoming one of them?

Your transformation is just in time for you to announce you're running for council. Smart move my friend, it will get you extra votes and you'll be a top candidate. Likely knock off Meggs who'll be scraping up the bottom of the vote barrel along with Jang and Deal. You have my vote! Good on you for getting rid of your asphalt and planting a garden. I love it when citycaucus goes all green on us, you always keep us guessing.

Hey, I didn't do the casting. You'll just have to trust me when I say that a garden bed is much preferable to a parking lot. If Hollyhockers did this there would have been a charitable society set up first, then a social enterprise with a fancy name like Greenest City somethingorother.

Then everyone would be invited to a leadership seminar, and asked to share their innermost feelings about asphalt. Of course, the group would be sitting on yoga mats and holding hands. Then we'd eat a tossed salad of Cortes dandelions and rave about the local cuisine.

I know our readers like a lot of red meat in their blogging diet. Don't worry, that's coming. In the meantime enjoy the de-paving.

Check out!

Paid Advertisement

Paid Advertisement