Students at a Kitchener elementary school got their hands dirty planting trees at Waterloo Region’s first-ever ‘de-paved’ site.

On Thursday, students at Sheppard Public School began planting trees as part two of the project.

REEP Green Solutions has been renewing urban spaces, with the goal at Sheppard PS to turn the asphalt-covered playground into a naturalized play space.

“The stuff we’re doing here today is going to be incorporated into the curriculum, so students will actually help to water and steward these trees for the next couple years,” said Patrick Gilbride with REEP.

On Sunday, volunteers pulled up the asphalt by hand for phase one.

A parkour-style playground will be installed in the spring as the third and final stage of the project.