My day planting a rain garden

By Sarah Lukaszczyk, Communications Assistant

Given the warmer weather, we students take every opportunity to be outdoors. Fortunately for me, this meant venturing to the Lakeside neighbourhood to the RAIN Smart Home of Madeline and Josh Hunsberger at 184 Gatewood Drive. to learn about how rain gardens are constructed. Reep Green Solutions partnered with the City of Kitchener to create a project in the neighbourhood that would showcase the beauty of rain gardens and their ability to improve the quality of water going into our lakes and streams.

Having arrived early to the workshop, I was drawn to the display boards depicting plants of different colours, blooming in different seasons, and planted at varying depths. The workshop facilitator, Reep Green Solution’s RAIN Coach Becca Robinson, explained how the seasonal chart was put together to ensure that there was always something blooming in the gardens that the homeowner and people in the community could enjoy. Becca, in her role as RAIN Coach, is working with people in Lakeside to help other neighbourhood residents plan their own rain gardens.

Although the bulk of the work happens underground, the parts of the rain garden you can see more than justify a second, third and fourth glance. Beyond its aesthetic appeal, the garden was also a hot bed for discussion. Madeline shared her desire to incorporate the plants she had saved from her grandmother’s garden. The ability to personalize their yard ties in well with the motivation to create beautiful spaces that also provide an environmental benefit. Community members gathered long after the workshop ended to discuss various plants they had in their garden and the best places to get them.

In sum, it was a unique opportunity and escape I was fortunate experience. From seeing the original garden blueprints to its final manifestation, I not only got some insight into what it takes to be a landscape designer but also to be part of a vibrant and climate conscious community.

If you live in one of the Kitchener neighbouroods Lakeside or Mount Hope you can book a free consultation with the RAIN Coach as part of the RAIN Smart Neighbourhoods Project. Please contact us at [email protected] or call 519-744-6583 x 227.

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