Building a rain garden from start to finish

Kitchener – On Saturday, May 20, a group of family, neighbours and volunteers will build a rain garden from start to finish at 200 Waterloo Street in Kitchener’s Mount Hope neighbourhood. The first shovel will go into the ground at 10:30 a.m. following a presentation on how to build rain gardens at 10 a.m. by Reep Green Solutions RAIN Coach Becca Robinson. Digging out the basin and mixing the soil is expected to take until early afternoon when it will be filled with amended soil design to soak up stormwater and planted with native plants.

The garden is how Steven and Jessica Reesor-Rempel chose to use their Front Yard Makeover prize they won last year as part of the RAIN Smart Neighbourhood project. It is an example of how their neighbours can also make their homes rain smart. Financial incentives are available this year to residents of Kitchener’s Mount Hope and Lakeside neighbourhoods to take on a variety of similar projects.

“We hope that this rain garden and two other demonstration projects help inspire homeowners in these neighbourhoods to manage rain and other precipitation where it falls,” said Patrick Gilbride, RAIN Program Manager. “We are working with neighbourhoods because when people help to manage rain at their home it can provide a benefit in their neighbourhood. Especially given the increasingly unpredictably of storms we are having it can often lead to soggy backyards and wet basements. If everyone better manages rain on their property, everyone nearby stands to benefit. These yard improvement projects also help to beautify and enhance the quality of life for neighbourhood residents.”

While presentations are also scheduled for May 28 and June 3 at the other two demonstration projects, Saturday features the only work party scheduled.

Funded by the Ontario Trillium Fund, Reep Green Solutions leads the RAIN Smart Neighbourhood project in partnership with the City of Kitchener and Partners for Action.

REEP Green Solutions is an environmental charity that helps people to live sustainably. Programs and services focus on residential energy efficiency, managing storm water management, water conservation and waste reduction. It co-leads ClimateActionWR with Sustainable Waterloo Region. The Reep House for Sustainable Living is a model home with a variety of environmentally friendly features and often hosts workshops and presentations.

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