DePave Project Volunteers Close Out Phase One By Planting Over 70 Trees
The effort to replace pavement with trees and a playing field at Holy Rosary will continue in 2018

The first phase of DePave Puget Sound is complete! A project of the Pierce Conservation District (PCD), PCD’s Water Quality Improvement Director Melissa Buckingham led over 40 volunteers to install 70 large landscape trees that increased the canopy cover in Tacoma, will reduce air and noise pollution from I-5, and now provides shade at Holy Rosary Church. The project site was nominated by the Industrial Stormwater Community of Interest's Coordinator Carrie Hernandez and a great example of the community setting the course for its own development. The turnout was so effusive and the volunteers so engaged that they completed the planting in less than an hour!

Check out these photos of the volunteers in action and then read on to see what comes next for this Project DePave site!

As we mentioned in a previous update, the project at Holy Rosary will be completed in two phases. This year project staff and volunteers just completed the removal of 5,000 square feet of pavement to make way for trees along the back wall while preparing for the even more ambitious phase. In 2018 teams will remove the remaining 10,080 square feet of pavement to create space for a grass field where students can play team sports. The play equipment, too, will become more inviting as it will be moved on top of soft mulch.

This important work is vital to the ISCOI’s hopes for the future of Tacoma. PCD’s Water Quality Improvement Director Melissa Buckingham explained that urban trees are now understood to be a central part of a “Green City” and they provide a range of benefits by beautifying neighborhoods and reducing noise, air, and water pollution. Every 1,000 square feet of depaved pavement eliminates over 24,000 gallons of polluted runoff annually. The PWI and the ISCOI are so happy that we closed out 2017 right on schedule, and now beautiful trees are lining the entire back wall of Holy Rosary Church, with even more exciting improvements coming next year.

A huge thank you to all of our volunteers this year - we truly could not have done all this without you!

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