Depave is largely a volunteer-driven effort and is lucky to have many dedicated folks working on projects, education, policy, and fundraising. There are many ways you can contribute to the success of Depave events as well as the long term progress of the organization.
Our depavings, during the summer through fall, could not happen without the support of our volunteers. These community events are a fun way to take part in transforming a space for the better. You don’t need any special training, tools or gear — just bring yourself, your muscles and teamwork.
Event volunteer opportunities (other than ripping up pavement) include: Festivity coordination, First aid/safety, Food/donation coordination, Registration, Photo/videography.
For general news about upcoming events, please sign up for the Depave Email List on the homepage.
Help us steward our project sites
"I first volunteered at a depave of Mosi Architecture's parking lot back in 2009 and haven't looked back since. From the very beginning, I have been struck by the way total strangers come together at the events, united by a common cause to better our community spaces. Forget an ice-breaker, pavement smashing allows people to quickly begin interacting with each other, at first pragmatically and soon thereafter more warmly, humorously and compassionately. Despite the physicality of depaving, I believe every single person can directly contribute to a depave event, whether it is through direct smashing, presenting a paired art piece or performance, helping to support the many other moving parts of the event, or simply building community resilience by coming out to witness the spectacle and chatting up your fellow citizens. Direct action is one of the most courageous gestures we can make toward bettering our community. Depave makes it really easy (and fun!) to plug-in and come away feeling energized about our capacity to improve our urban spaces."
Josh has lead depaving at Chief Joseph Elementary School and PCC Sylvania in addition to assisting at over 15 other Depave events. As co-leader of Depave's Site Planning Committee, Josh relies on the experience he has developed at his day job as an architectural project manager for the local Portland firm, Livermore Architecture & Engineering. In addition, Josh also has years of experience in construction management, which definitely comes in handy when coordinating Depave's direct actions around the Portland area. Whether working with prospective site hosts, developing site designs or coordinating construction (and destruction!) logistics, Josh is committed to tactically empowering our community in order to enrich our urban environment. Contact Josh
"While searching for a place to volunteer, Depave caught my eye because of its integration of environmental sustainability and community engagement. I have a passion for improving society and have come to understand that living harmoniously with the environment is a huge factor in creating healthy communities. One of my passions is environmental education, so I began working on a few community surveys for Depave. I was instantly in love with the work done in this organization and could see the value of their work.
My love was solidified when I came to a few working parties at the Word and Spirit Church. It was amazing to see this parking lot go from emptiness and pavement to green, functional and beautiful. Community engagement was another wonderful thing I observed. So many congregation members and members of the Portland community came out and made the work smooth and enjoyable. Neighbors walking by our work party could not help but stop and inquire as to what we were up to. I realized that through more of these projects, our society could really be transformed.
All of the projects I have worked on so far, from outreach to fundraising, have showed me how important Depave is and how much it contributes to the health and vitality of wildlife, water, humans and the planet at large. I have seen that when asphalt is replaced with gardens, native plants, rain gardens, pathways and play areas, whole communities can be transformed. Depave not only rips up pavement and replaces it with life, it also connects and engages people. Everyone can benefit from the work Depave does whether it be schools, neighborhoods, businesses, churches, parks or residential homes. I am honored to be a part of this team and am excited to see what the future holds for Depave!" Contact Brynn
"When I moved to Portland I was looking for an "on the ground" outlet for my passions for city planning, green space creation, community development, and breaking things with large, sharp tools for community purposes. Depave was a perfect fit and in February, 2013 I started attending site planning meetings. With Depave I took on roles with the Site Planning Team including project management, site design, and developing new partnerships. As summer arrived and the Depaving events began, the joy only increased and I began teaching others to break pavement with large, sharp tools for community purposes and learning to break pavement with bigger tools. The community experience allows a safe environment for everyone to participate and elevate their own skill level and there is a tangible, positive, and immediate impact that each of these projects has."
In addition to destroying pavement, Dan holds a Masters of Urban Planning from Tufts University and works for the City of Molalla as a GIS Analyst. He plays guitar and enjoys the solitude of green spaces, both manicured and wild.
"I first heard about Depave while doing research on storm water mitigation for a Portland Community College class. I was impressed by the way Depave combined restoration work with community building and was immediately moved to be a part of it . I began volunteering at the tail end of the Escuela Viva project, helping install a bioswale and bring in soil and plants to what had been an asphalt playground.
After that, I was hooked, and went on to help coordinate phase two of the James John Elementary project, where I coordinated a lot of the behind the scenes work as well as helping with the sawing and removal of asphalt and the pickup and installation of plants. I also assisted with the project to restore Baltimore Woods – a 30-acre historic Oregon white oak savannah along the Willamette River (in St. Johns) that had been turned into an industrial area.
Working with Depave has been a great learning opportunity, not only because of the technical skills I’ve learned, but because of the opportunity to pick the brains of a diverse group of volunteers including landscape architects, general contractors, biologists, and community organizers. What’s most fulfilling is walking away from a finished project, witnessing the transformation, and knowing that we not only contributed to the repair of the environment, but also created a community space where people can connect and engage."