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Busting up asphalt and growing in the cracks!


Sunday, April 20th, 2014

Homegrown National Park

You may have heard of the Homegrown National Park initiative started by the David Suzuki Foundation. As a park ranger I get to help out with some really cool projects that were started last year.

PS 397


The PS 397: Proposed Depaving Project is a thin strip of land bounded on either side by asphalt. The area is dominated by mature pines that appear to be in a state of decline. The proposed project is to remove the asphalt, amend soil and provide plant material.

Busting through the cracks!

The development of an appropriate plant list for PS 397 used the ecology of cracking asphalt as a conceptual model.



Recognizing the similar ecological conditions informed plant selection. Existing at vastly different scales the conceptual model is similar to the site in the following ways:

Extra heat reflection from adjacent asphalt.

Generally dry conditions with large fluctuations of moisture availability.

Few disturbances and/or non-existent maintenance allowing natural processes to occur.

Existing plants form physical barriers that collect organic matter, moisture and seeds.

Feedback loops create conditions for additional colonization.

“mini” corridor for wildlife.

Plants? what plants?

This criteria was the basis for appropriate plant selection.


Here is the link to the proposal including plants:

HGNP – Palmerston Sq. Concept – April 18th 2014

HGNP - Concept - April 18th 2014_1

Stay tuned for asphalt removal, soil amendment and mega planting this spring!



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