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REAL  is offering you an opportunity to participate in the transformation of downtown Smiths Falls through a Depave Paradise project.

In mid May, the Town of Smiths Falls will begin the removal of Daniel Street between the library and Town Hall, with REAL volunteers  manually removing a 100 square meter portion.  This transformation will provide us with a new Town Square, which will include a bandstand,  park space and, other features.  REAL will be contributing a butterfly garden on a spot previously occupied by Daniel Street.  

Why Depave?  Depave Paradise projects use volunteers at highly visible sites  to rip up unused pavement and replace it with native plants, bushes and trees. These work bees raise  awareness of the issues surrounding the urban water cycle, while making measurable environmental impacts, reducing runoff and contamination and increasing green space. 

We’d Like You to Join Us.  We are looking for volunteers for two separate days, one for the pavement removal Sat. June 19 and another day, probably Sat. July 3, for the garden planting.    Because of the risks associated with the work and COVID restrictions, all volunteers must preregister and sign a waiver on the day.  Please do not just show up on the day without preregistering.  Sorry, due to COVID we do not encourage spectators.


We will let you know as the dates firm up.  Due the May 20 announcement, we are now looking at June 19th for the Depave date, and July 3 for the garden day.  But we would like to have a roster of willing and able volunteers ready to go!  We understand if you find that due to a date change you cannot participate, just let us know.

First Aid

We are also looking for several volunteers trained and certified in first aid who could commit to being on site for a half day on the pavement removal or garden day.


Are you a gardener?  We have a specific plan in mind for the butterfly garden beds, and need help finding certain species.  Check this list if you have any of them to donate, or discover them at local garden centres. 

All Volunteers

  • Please dress appropriately in work clothes appropriate for the weather and closed toe shoes.
  • Bring sun protection (hats, sunglasses, sunscreen).
  • Work gloves are a must.
  • Water will be provided, but please bring your own refillable water bottle.
  • Participants will be asked to sign a waiver and a photo release, as we will be taking lots of photos and video.
  • Participants must follow all safety instructions provided, and follow any necessary COVID precautions, or will asked to leave the site.

Depave Day

  • All volunteers must be 18 or older, but we will accept 16 and 17 year olds if a parent comes to sign the waiver.
  • We will be scheduling people in 1.5 hour shifts:  9:30 – 11:00, 11:00 – 12:30, 12:30 – 2:00 and 2:00 – 3:30.
  • Everyone must wear steel toed boots or toe caps.  We will have toe caps for you to borrow.
  • If you have prescription safety glasses, please wear them, otherwise we will have safety glasses for you to borrow.
  • You don’t have to be super strong but you should be physically capable.
  • The pavement we are removing will be scored in advance and pried up in small sections using hand tools (there will be no power tools on site.)
  • Some people will be gathering and putting pavement chunks in the dumpster.

Planting Day

  • Volunteers under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Volunteers 14 – 17 must have a parent come to sign the waiver.
  • Shifts will be established.
  • A Depave team member will supervise the plant and shrub placement according to a pre-established plan.

For more information or to register, contact:

      Katie Hoffman
      [email protected]
      (613) 983-3360

Those who register will be notified informed as the dates firm up.