Students at Miles Macdonell Collegiate build paradise by tearing up the parking lot

Miles MacDonald Student ESD team

Yes, folk singer, Joni Mitchell would likely be pleased to know that the reverse of her iconic song, Big Yellow Taxi, is possible and happening right here in Winnipeg. Students are tearing up the parking lot at Miles Macdonald Collegiate and transforming a 62m2 section into greenspace, part of a national initiative called, Depave Paradise.

“Our students have worked tirelessly and creatively the entire year to turn an idea into a reality.  For years to come, students will enjoy this space, the environment will benefit, and our students will move on having adopted a more mindful outlook on their environmental impact.  It’s a win-win.” boasts Laura McCrindle, teacher and (ESD) Education for Sustainable Development Team Lead at Miles Macdonell Collegiate.

Over 50 student and staff from Miles Macdonell Collegiate, Climate Change Connection, and River East Transcona School Division are volunteering on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 to make it happen!

In an effort to add greenspace and reduce the impacts of extreme weather due to our changing climate, students have led the charge in transforming staff parking stalls into a gathering space that will have native plants, attract pollinators, provide habitat for butterflies, encourage students to enjoy nature, provide a space for teachers to take their classrooms outside, and house a medicinal garden.

“Asphalt is great for driving but too much can make cities hot and cause unnecessary flooding! As our Earth warms, our planet will get more humid and we will have more intense rain events. Depaving this site will allow the soil to soak up and filter the rainwater instead of going directly into our sewer. This Depave Project is a great model of a change we can make to lessen the impacts of these severe storms,” explains Susan Lindsay, Project Manager, Climate Change Connection.

“It has also given youth hope that change is possible and provided them with skills to successfully achieve other community projects,” adds Lindsay.

What:   Depave Paradise Greenspace Transformation

When:  (New Date) Thursday, June 23, 2022, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

Where:  Miles Macdonell Collegiate, 757 Roch St, Winnipeg, MB R2K 2R1
(Kimberly Ave parking lot – behind the school –parking lot facing the YMCA)

Depave Paradise is a project of Green Communities Canada and local partners in communities across Canada. That supports volunteers and neighbourhoods to remove unwanted pavement and plant gardens filled with native species in its place. Depave Paradise has hosted over 67 events across Canada in over 28 cities, transforming 14565 m2 into greenspace.

This project was funded by Green Communities Canada, The Winnipeg Foundation, River East Transcona School Division, Urban Systems Inc., Greensite Recycling Inc., Rise up, and The Manitoba Teachers’ Society.

Media are invited to participate throughout the day.  For media inquiries, please contact:

Susan Lindsay, Project Manager, Climate Change Connection, email

Kultaj Kaur, Communication Team Leader ESD, Miles Macdonell Student, email

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