Kitchener’s RAIN Garden Party Celebrates Gardens that Solve Water Problems


Kitchener’s RAIN Garden Party Celebrates Gardens that Solve Water Problems

Residents in the Victoria Hills neighbourhood in Kitchener are celebrating gardening as a way to solve water problems… at their homes, for their neighbours and for people downstream. On Thursday September 17th from 6:00 to 8:30 pm, a “RAIN Garden Party” will be held at the Victoria Hills Community Centre and at a nearby townhouse complex where a rain garden is being installed .

A rain garden is a garden that is specially designed to hold and soak up a large volume of water within 24-48 hours. It is different than a regular garden because the soil has a large percentage of sand in it in order to hold lots of water and the plants selected need to be able to handle extreme wet and dry conditions. Rain gardens come in a beautiful variety of shapes and sizes so they can easily fit into existing landscapes. By collecting rooftop water from at least 10 feet away from building foundations, rain gardens help to prevent basement flooding. They can also be used to dry up damp areas of your yard and keep water off of your walks and driveways, preventing winter slips and falls. As an added bonus, in the Cities of Kitchener and Waterloo, rain gardens can qualify homeowners for up to 45% off of their stormwater utility fee.

Following a how-to presentation for homeowners at the Community Centre by landscaping professional Jeff Thompson, participants will walk to a nearby townhouse at 58 Hazelglen Drive to complete the planting of a new rain garden that will solve water problems at that location.

George Lavallee of Forest Group Kitchener Ltd., owner of the host site of the RAIN Garden Party explains, “Water from our building’s downspouts dumps directly onto our parking lot. In the winter the ice builds up regularly and it causes a huge demand for salt application so that we can keep the parking lot safe for tenants. We are going to redirect our downspouts to a rain garden to substantially reduce our dependence on salt and create a nice landscape feature for people to enjoy in the summer.”

REEP Green Solutions’ RAIN Program is coordinating the party with the support of RBC’s Bluewater Fund and the City of Kitchener. The Grand River Conservation Authority is sharing the cost of printing how-to manuals for participants.

As the party wraps up, participants will get a chance to sign up to host a rain garden party in their own neighbourhood, pending funding approval in 2016.

RAIN: An Ecological Approach to Stormwater Management is a Green Communities Canada program, delivered locally by REEP Green Solutions in partnership with the Cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge. The program helps property owners soak up stormwater on their property, qualify for stormwater credits, and protect the Grand River.

REEP Green Solutions is an environmental charity and social enterprise focusing on energy and water sustainability. Created in 1999 by the University of Waterloo and the Elora Environment Centre, REEP exists to empower the community with the practical tools, knowledge and capacity for action to make sustainability the norm.

The RBC Blue Water Project is a historic, wide-ranging, 10-year global commitment to help protect the world’s most precious natural resource: fresh water. Since 2007, RBC has pledged over $41 million to more than 700 charitable organizations worldwide that protect water, with an additional $8.8 million pledged to universities for water programs. In 2014-2015, the RBC Blue Water Project will focus on supporting initiatives that help protect water in towns, cities and urbanized areas. For further information, visit

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