EVENT DETAILS

planting a rain garden

Learn ways to add landscape solutions like rain gardens, bioswales, and trees into your yard. See first-hand the gardens at Avenue Road Baptist Church that are designed to soak up and filter stormwater.

Tour the rain garden and row of trees that reduce water runoff into the newly revamped stormwater pond.  We will discuss actions that can reduce runoff from our properties and help to protect our local water ways, such as nearby Shade’s Mills Pond.

Date/Time: Saturday October 13th, 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Location: Avenue Road Baptist Church (465 Avenue Rd, Cambridge, ON N1R 5S4)
Registration: Free (space is limited so reserve your spot)
Light refreshments provided

Presenter: Becca Robinson, RAIN Coach, Reep Green Solutions

Photo of Becca, RAIN CoachBecca Robinson is the Principal Designer and Owner of Grow and Gather Design and is currently the RAIN Coach for REEP Green Solutions.  Her practice of landscape architecture centres around the creation of places that promote and celebrate the benefits of interacting with nature.

She has been the landscape designer for prestigious projects such as Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre, a City of Edinburgh park adjacent to the Holyrood Palace (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge (DRIWR).

She has a Masters of Landscape Architecture from University of Michigan and a B.S. in Environmental Science from University of North Carolina.

Workshop Funders and Partners:

 

TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, City of Cambridge and Avenue Road Baptist Church

REGISTRATION

EVENT DETAILS

Homeowner beside their downspout

“I am a new homeowner and a bit of a newbie when it comes to home improvements. What I learned made things clear about what I could do to get the water away from my foundation.” -Brandie, Kitchener

Intense rainfalls, heavy winds, ice storms, winter thaws… unpredictable weather puts our homes at risk for damp, flooded basements, backyard ponding, and property damage.

Join us for an informative walk around the Fiddlesticks Community Centre and learn the vital steps to protect your own home from water damage.

Date/Time: Tuesday, October 2nd, 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Location: Fiddlesticks Community Centre (71 Cowan Blvd, Cambridge, ON N1T 1K7)
Registration: Free (space is limited so reserve your spot)
Light refreshments provided
Presenter: Michael Albanese, RAIN Home Visit Guide, Reep Green Solutions

Photo of the presenter, Michael

Michael Albanese is an experienced RAIN Home Visit Guide who has helped hundreds of homeowners to address drainage problems and educate them about green infrastructure, including rain gardens, permeable paving and rainwater harvesting. Michael graduated from University of Waterloo in the Geography and Environmental Management program and is currently completing the Landscape Design program at Ryerson University.

Workshop Funders and partners:

Registration

Did you know that in a typical home, approximately 30-50% of the surfaces are impenetrable to water? This means that water cannot pass through into the groundwater and instead runs off into storm sewers.  As it runs off it can pick up some nasty stuff, like contaminants, and lead to flooding and erosion problems downstream. So, how can you, as a homeowner, do your part to address this serious issue?

One solution could be installing permeable pavement in place of concrete!

What is the difference between traditional and permeable pavement?

Traditionally, construction of driveways, walkways, patios and sidewalks is done with the use of impervious concrete or asphalt. When water fails to get soaked up by trees or natural surfaces, it runs off these surfaces and straight into the storm sewer system. This results in water that can become polluted with oil, grit and other contaminants that flow into our local streams, rivers and lakes.

What are the benefits for the environment?

The main environmental benefit is the reduction of water runoff, which can reduce risk of flooding and erosion. Permeable interlocking pavement attempts to solve this problem by allowing for ways for water to pass through the pavement and infiltrate into the ground. The key though is the stone reservoir installed underneath the pavers which retains the water and gives it a chance to percolate back into the ground.

So, now that you know all the various benefits, it is important to know what type of permeable surface is best for your property and your wallet!

 

 

Choosing the Right Permeable Hardscape

The first step to creating pavement that is permeable is to choose an option that matches the space given for the project and the budget that is being utilized. Some types of pavement include:

  • Permeable pavers, which are similar to traditional stone pavers, but have special gaps filled with small stones that allow water to seep into the ground.
  • A plastic or concrete grid system, in which the gaps are filled with gravel or grasses for easy infiltration.
  • A porous asphalt, porous pavement (local company!) or pervious concrete, which is a lower cost option, that allows water to flow through final example and a lower cost option.

Considerations Prior to Installation

Before you begin implementing the installation of permeable pavement, it is important plan ahead and consider all possible options beforehand. Installation of permeable pavement requires professional installation to ensure it is done properly so that it can withstand the weight of people or vehicles that will be on it.

Can’t do Permeable? Try a Ribbon driveway!

Since permeable pavement options are expensive, require a contractor and have specific slope requirements, they are not viable for everyone.  So what can you do if you are unable to install permeable pavement but still want to make a difference? There are other methods you can use to create a more permeable driveway or sidewalk without implementing a full project.

One way that this can be done is to remove some of the concrete, and leave only enough pavement for the tires on your driveway. These ribbon driveways were once quite common and are having a mini-renaissance.

As a homeowner, there are many ways to help the environment and reduce the stress on your local storm sewer system, such as with replacing concrete pavement with permeable surfaces. Contact local contractors to find out more about installing permeable pavement on your property for professional help and proper planning.

Edited by: Christine Tan, Communications Assistant

Healthy Yards: Idea Spark & Planning

This workshop will give you an introduction to designing beautiful, functional, and healthy yards that are rain smart and beneficial to nature and people alike.

taking notes on rain garden design

The workshop will focus on rain smart techniques and the best places to integrate them into your outdoor space, including:

  • rain gardens
  • naturalized landscaping
  • infiltration galleries
  • rainwater harvesting
  • permeable pavement
  • other aspects of healthy yards, such as attracting bees and butterflies

We will print out an aerial map of your property in advance. After a brief overview, you will be guided through the process of analyzing your property to determine what healthy yard features would work best for your space and lifestyle. We will sketch out your ideas to give you a sense of the size and scope of your project(s). You will leave the workshop with a basic plan for your yard and additional resources to help implement your healthy yard project. The design sketch can help to facilitate discussion with a contractor or form the basis of the plan to do it yourself. If you want help developing a more detailed plan, register for the next workshop in the series Healthy Yards: Designing Your Garden.

AGENDA

  • Presentation: 7:00 p.m.
  • Design Exercise: 7:20 – 9:00 p.m.

This workshop is a repeats of the workshop on Saturday March 17. Choose the date that is most convenient for you. Space is limited

PRESENTED BY OUR RAIN COACH

Becca Robinson is the Principal Designer and Owner of Grow and Gather Design (www.growandgatherdesign.com) and is currently the RAIN Coach for REEP Green Solutions. Her practice of landscape architecture centres around the creation of places that promote and celebrate the benefits of interacting with nature.

She has been the landscape designer for prestigious projects such as Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre, a City of Edinburgh park adjacent to the Holyrood Palace (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. She has a Masters of Landscape Architecture from University of Michigan and a B.S. in Environmental Science from University of North Carolina.

In partnership with

We would like to acknowledge our project partners, the City of Kitchener, Partners for Action from the University of Waterloo, and Green Communities Canada.
City of Kitchener Print rain_partner-logos_gcc

With funding provided by:

This project is funded through a donation from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) that supports projects that contribute to healthy and vibrant Ontario communities.
Ontario Trillium Foundation

TRANSPORTATION

We encourage the use of active transportation such as walking or biking. The house is just off the Iron Horse Trail and we have a bike rack.

It is also easily accessible by GRT bus routes that use Queen and have stops near Mill St. If you drive, please consider carpooling with others you know are attending.

Since the house only has a few parking spots, we have arranged for parking spaces in the Schneider Haus lot around the corner on Queen St. S.

Healthy Yards: Idea Spark & Planning

This workshop will give you an introduction to designing beautiful, functional, and healthy yards that are rain smart and beneficial to nature and people alike.

taking notes on rain garden design

The workshop will focus on rain smart techniques and the best places to integrate them into your outdoor space, including:

  • rain gardens
  • naturalized landscaping
  • infiltration galleries
  • rainwater harvesting
  • permeable pavement
  • other aspects of healthy yards, such as attracting bees and butterflies

We will print out an aerial map of your property in advance. After a brief overview, you will be guided through the process of analyzing your property to determine what healthy yard features would work best for your space and lifestyle. We will sketch out your ideas to give you a sense of the size and scope of your project(s). You will leave the workshop with a basic plan for your yard and additional resources to help implement your healthy yard project. The design sketch can help to facilitate discussion with a contractor or form the basis of the plan to do it yourself. If you want help developing a more detailed plan, register for the next workshop in the series Healthy Yards: Designing Your Garden.

AGENDA

  • Presentation: 1:30 p.m.
  • Design Exercise: 1:50 – 3:00 p.m.
  • Open House: 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

This workshop repeats on Wednesday April 11 at 7pm. Choose the date that is most convenient for you. Space is limited

PRESENTED BY OUR RAIN COACH

Becca Robinson is the Principal Designer and Owner of Grow and Gather Design (www.growandgatherdesign.com) and is currently the RAIN Coach for REEP Green Solutions. Her practice of landscape architecture centres around the creation of places that promote and celebrate the benefits of interacting with nature.

She has been the landscape designer for prestigious projects such as Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre, a City of Edinburgh park adjacent to the Holyrood Palace (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.  She has a Masters of Landscape Architecture from University of Michigan and a B.S. in Environmental Science from University of North Carolina.

In partnership with

We would like to acknowledge our project partners, the City of Kitchener, Partners for Action from the University of Waterloo, and Green Communities Canada.
City of Kitchener Print rain_partner-logos_gcc

With funding provided by:

This project is funded through a donation from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) that supports projects that contribute to healthy and vibrant Ontario communities.
Ontario Trillium Foundation

TRANSPORTATION

We encourage the use of active transportation such as walking or biking. The house is just off the Iron Horse Trail and we have a bike rack.

It is also easily accessible by GRT bus routes that use Queen and have stops near Mill St. If you drive, please consider carpooling with others you know are attending.

Since the house only has a few parking spots, we have arranged for parking spaces in the Schneider Haus lot around the corner on Queen St. S.

 

Huron Natural Area is a 107-hectare site that is home to one of Kitchener’s few coldwater streams and some sensitive wetlands. People in the community gather to hike the extensive trail system, photograph wildlife and relax in the woods. Children learn to connect with nature through interpretive programming and play in the natural playscape.

Because of Huron Natural Area’s popularity, there was a demand for more parking. The problem with adding hard surfaces such as parking lots is that they can disrupt the natural water cycle by preventing rain from soaking into the ground. Matt Wilson, a local paving contractor and Design and Construction Project Manager at the City of Kitchener’s Stormwater Utility, saw the problem as an opportunity to test some innovative technology. Matt proposed constructing the parking lot with permeable pavement in order to prevent negative impacts to the natural area and wetlands.

Permeable pavers are specially designed to allow rain and melted snow to pass through the gaps between the pavers (bricks). But the real key is in the stone reservoir underneath the pavers. Water is temporarily stored in the reservoir before slowly percolating into the ground. Naturally occurring micro-organisms in the reservoir help to break down hydrocarbons and other pollutants coming from vehicles. When looking to diversify your garage’s capabilities, you can never go wrong the flexibility of 2 post car lifts. Rainwater absorbed from the permeable parking lot then travels underground through the soil further filtering and cleaning the rainwater so that only clean water is released back to the wetlands and streams in the park.

Helped with a grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Matt and his colleagues at the city will be monitoring the site for water quantity and quality to determine its effectiveness and evaluate whether permeable pavers are a feasible solution for other municipal projects.

permeable pavement diagram at Huron Natural Area

Storm-Proof Your Home

Storm clouds overhead

Workshop Summary

Date/Time: Saturday November 7, 2pm to 3pm
Location: Idea Exchange, Queen’s Square, 1 North Square, Cambridge
Cost: Free.
Parking: Free parking is available in the lot adjacent to the venue between George St. and Grand Avenue with main entrance off of the parking lot.
Registration: Please call 519-621-0460 to register in advance.

Intense rainfalls, heavy winds, ice storms, snap winter thaws… These unpredictable events put our homes at risk of damp, flooded basements, backyard ponding, tree damage and winter slips & falls. Small improvements to your home can provide peace of mind that your home can weather any storm!

Learn about storm-proofing home improvements such as rain gardens, permeable pavement, and backwater valves as well as best practices for maintaining sump pumps, rain barrels and trees. This workshop will help you to understand the work you can do yourself and what is best left to the pros.

Funder and partner acknowledgement

REEP, RAIN, Green Communities Canada, Idea Exchange in partnership with the Cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge

City of Cambridge logo

Idea Exchange logo

2015 Residential Stormwater Award Winner (Waterloo)

Here’s the story of one of the 2015 Celebrating Community Action award recipients. Learn about all nine recipients.

Catherine Fife, Ken and Elizabeth McLaughlin worked together to de-pave their adjoining driveways and replace them with permeable paving strips. The downspouts of both homes have been directed underground to stone below the driveway that stores and soaks water into the ground. With this project, they hope to reduce the volume and improve the quality of stormwater that flows from their property, ensure some groundwater recharge, and improve their homes’ curb appeal. During the Grand Porch Party last summer, Catherine noticed that her driveway was of interest to a lot of people. “It was a conversation starter,” she says. “It was a way to bring together people that had similar values.”

The project cost Catherine and her neighbours $3200 to install the driveway. As demand for green infrastructure increases, prices should come down and people won’t need to compromise on their sustainability values when hiring a contractor. As a bonus, it stimulates the local economy. “It’s important that more people act on environmental beliefs. We can create green jobs in this way,” says Catherine.

Catherine has a long history of modelling her values. She and her husband knew that their 117 year old house was energy inefficient, so they had REEP complete an EnerGuide for Homes Evaluation. Afterwards they installed LED lighting, high efficiency heating, and were more conscious of their energy use. Their heating and electricity costs were reduced and they enjoyed a noticeable improvement in comfort. “Putting a plan in place, prioritizing projects – it’s the hardest thing to do,” says Catherine. “REEP has the expertise needed to help homeowners make the first step, and homeowners need this expertise.”

Storm-Proof Your Home

Storm clouds overhead

Date/Time: Saturday Oct 24, 1 pm to 2:30 pm
Location: REEP House for Sustainable Living, 20 Mill Street, Kitchener
Cost: Free.
Parking: Schneider Haus Green – accessible by entering the Joseph Schneider Haus Parking Lot at Mill & Queen and driving on to the grass.
Registration Required (space is limited)

Workshop Summary

Intense rainfalls, heavy winds, ice storms, snap winter thaws… These unpredictable events put our homes at risk for damp, flooded basements, backyard ponding, tree damage and winter slips & falls. Small improvements to your home can provide the peace of mind that your home can weather any storm!

Join us for an interactive tour of REEP House for Sustainable Living where you will learn the simple steps to protect your home from water and wind damage. Certified RAIN Home Visit Guide Brendan Schaefer will demonstrate preventive storm-proofing through the use of rain gardens and permeable pavement as well as best practices for maintaining sump pumps, rain barrels, trees and backwater valves. This tour will help you to understand the work you can do yourself and what is best left to the pros. Find out which storm-proofing improvements can qualify for stormwater utility credits in Kitchener and Waterloo.

Workshop includes
  • Introduction to RAIN program
  • Introduction to stormwater utility credits at City of Kitchener and Waterloo
  • Interactive tour of storm-proof features of REEP House
  • ‘Storm-Proof Home Checklist’ to take home
  • Local service providers list
Presenters

Cheryl Evans, RAIN Program Manager, REEP Green Solutions
Brendan Schaefer, Certified RAIN Guide, REEP Green Solutions

Funder and partner acknowledgement
City of Cambridge logo
2015 Residential Stormwater Award Winner (Cambridge)

Here’s the story of one of the 2015 Celebrating Community Action award recipients. Learn about all nine recipients.

Mary-Louise and Alain had some serious stormwater problems at their home. During heavy rains and spring thaws water flowed from a high point in their back yard, over tight clay soils and into their basement. They worked with Kerr and Kerr Landscaping to develop a comprehensive solution to keep their basement dry. They removed over 100 cubic yards of soil to flatten the property, installed french drains, an infiltration gallery, several rain gardens and a permeable paving pathway and patio.

“The work has solved our water problems and turned our backyard into an oasis,” explains Mary-Louise.
Before and After the landscaping


Upcoming Events

  1. Where does THAT go? How to recycle in Waterloo Region

    October 27 | 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
  2. after depave render

    Depave Paradise at Sheppard Public School

    October 28 | 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
  3. Halloween | Family Open House | Zero Waste | Trick or Treat

    October 31 | 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
  4. Prepping Your Home For Winter

    November 3 | 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm
  5. Reducing your Carbon Footprint 101: Project Neutral Series

    November 22 | 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
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