FROM PARKING TO PLAYGROUND
The Compact held its first asphalt-removing volunteer event on Saturday, August 26, 2017, at Greater Nashville Unitarian Universalist Church in Bellevue. With the help of some awesome volunteers, we removed approximately 2,500 sq feet of asphalt to clear the way for a playground. The project kicked off the Cumberland River Compact’s Depave program with the goal of replacing unused and non-absorbent parking areas to green or play space.
The 2,500 sq feet of a parking lot, which allowed no water to infiltrate and enter the water table naturally, contributed to stormwater runoff. The Compact and volunteers retrofitted the space into an area that actively captures stormwater, all the while serving the congregation’s needs of a play area and adding aesthetics to the lot. Roughly 60 volunteers and staff removed several tons of asphalt. It was a hot day but the music and spirit of these volunteers made it a smashing success!
2022 Project Update
Five years after the completion of the Compact’s first Depave project, the site at Greater Nashville Unitarian Universalist Church remains a shining example of the possibilities that exist beyond impermeable surfaces.
After volunteers removed the 2,500 sq ft of asphalt, a new playground was constructed on the site of the former parking lot. The playground incorporates natural elements in place of plastic and metal, using a sustainably-sourced wood to provide structure to the play area’s elements. The playground also backs up onto the edge of a wooded area, providing shade for its users and integration into the nature that surrounds the church.
The absence of 2,500 sq ft of asphalt that once existed in the space also means that the parking lot is better equipped to deal with stormwater runoff during rain events. Less impermeable surface means less stormwater runoff; the playground not only adds joy to the church property, but helps mitigate issues of water quality.