It all started because a man named Arif Khan wanted a garden. In 2007, he had recently moved into a house in Portland, Oregon, whose backyard was covered in asphalt. Some friends helped him tear up the impervious surface, and soon after, they won a small grant to carry out a similar project in front of a local cafe. “It was a one-off,” said Ted Labbe, co-founder of Depave, an urban greening movement. “But it was so successful that the next year we got solicited to do three projects, and then five the year after that. It just kept escalating.” In the 15 years since breaking ground on Khan’s backyard, Depave has completed 75 projects in schoolyards, churches and other community spaces across Portland.