Whether you live in a large city or a small town, working to improve and build your community is always rewarding. That’s why OTS has invested over $1 million in Community Renewal Fund (CRF) grants to help over 60 communities go green using recycled rubber tire products in new and need-to-be-renewed spaces.
This fall, we took a scenic tour across Ontario to check out some of the inventive ways retired tires are finding their way back into Ontario communities and creating beautiful and functional public spaces. .
Richmond Hill applied for the CRF grant seeking to revitalize the town’s spaces to make them more inviting for residents. One aspect of tire recycling that they found appealing was the SoftSurfaces playground tiles, as it’s a product that is easy to work with, improves accessibility and can create attractive designs. Three parks and parkettes in Richmond Hill were fitted with these recycled rubber products, reusing the equivalent of 6,401 tires. We met up with a local family for a play date at the newest site – Morgan Boyle Park (pictured below) and can’t wait to unveil the Hidden Springs Parkette later this year.
The Pool and Fitness Centre in the northeastern town has always been a draw for families and, especially, seniors who like to take part in local classes. With so many active seniors participating in classes such as yoga, Tai Chi and spinning, adding slip-protection fitness flooring made from recycled rubber tires has made them feel safer.
The Nation Municipality
In Limoges, near Ottawa, a CRF grant was used to create the one of the first accessible public spaces for the Nation Municipality community. Recycled rubber playground tiles were installed at Toddler Park (also known as Tot Lot), creating a welcoming and inclusive community hub that could be enjoyed by the whole family from young kids to grandparents.
Looking for a sustainable way to combat water run-off issues, the township took advantage of the grant for a pilot project. At the King Heritage and Cultural Centre, a parking lot and walking path was created using rubber bricks which were placed in a modular block grid system, called Ecoraster (which is made of recycled plastic bags). The cobblestone-style pattern maintained the historic feel with modern benefits – the rubber bricks allow water to flow through instead of pooling and causing potential damage. The parking lot and pathway used an estimated 3,673 recycled tires!
How can you help?
OTS conducted a recent poll and found that nine in ten Ontarians believe it’s important to use sustainable materials in planning and carrying out community projects. We can all contribute to this goal by doing our part to rethink waste and recycle instead. Do your part, one tire at a time, by recycling your used tires today at a registered tire collector.
Stay tuned for more renewed public spaces popping up from Brant to Erin, Ottawa to London later this year.