Runoff from private properties is a major contributor to flood risk and a pervasive threat to water quality. However, motivating property owners to manage rain where it falls is difficult. Join Reep Green Solutions and Partners for Action to learn from some of the real world challenges and successes that have informed the development of the RAIN Smart Framework, a unique publication geared towards community practitioners, which details best practices and some ground tested methods for engaging the public on stormwater issues.

The framework combines ready-to-use templates and resources on how to build a program to engage a residential neighbourhood on lot-level stormwater management. Hear some of the lessons learned from engaging with homeowners to install green infrastructure as part of the RAIN Smart Neighbourhoods Project in two Kitchener neighbourhoods.

Who should attend: Municipal Staff, Academics, Practitioners, and students interested in lot-level green infrastructure

 

EVENT DETAILS

Date & Time: January 31, 10:30am-11:30am

Location: Evolv1 (420 Wes Graham Way) located in the David Johnston Research and Technology Park, University of Waterloo

Free parking is located next to the building.

Refreshments will be provided

Presenters

  • Anna Ziolecki, Director, Partners for Action
  • Patrick Gilbride, Manager Green Infrastructure Programs, Reep Green Solutions
  • Rebecca Robinson, RAIN Coach, Reep Green Solutions
  • Matt Haller, Student, University of Waterloo
  • Dawn Parker (homeowner), Professor, School of Planning, University of Waterloo

 

Agenda

10:15-10:30 – Networking
10:30-10:40 – Introduction to Partners for Action and Reep Green Solutions
10:40-11:05 – Organizational perspective – Community engagement in RAIN Smart Neighbourhoods
11:05-11:15 – Homeowner perspective – First hand story about the process of constructing a rain garden
11:15-11:20 – Youth perspective – Developing skills in the green infrastructure marketplace
11:20-11:30 – Q&A
11:30-11:45 – Networking

 

Partners and Funders

Ontario Trillium Fund, Partners for Action, City of Kitchener, Reep Green Solutions, Green Communities Canada

 

 

 

 

Green Communities Canada

 

 

 

About the Organizers

Reep Green Solutions

Reep Green Solutions is an environmental charity that helps you live sustainably. Our mission is to empower the community with the practical tools, knowledge and capacity for action to make sustainable living the norm. We do this through individualized advice for homes and workplaces, education programs, campaigns for waste reduction, water conversation and our programs at the Reep House for Sustainable Living.

Partners for Action

Partners for Action (P4A) is an applied research network advancing flood resiliency in Canada in the face of a changing climate and extreme weather. P4A’s collaborative approach brings together diverse stakeholders to create and share knowledge, address information needs, and drive action. P4A’s mandate is to facilitate increased risk awareness and improved decision making to help Canadian communities become more resilient to flooding. Partners for Action works out of the University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Environment.

The RAIN Smart Neighbourhoods Project is nearing the end and we wanted to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of the Mt. Hope community. We are hosting a garden tour to showcase the various projects that have been put in the ground over the past two seasons.

Join us to celebrate this momentous occasion by showcasing the success of neighbourhood projects, meeting at the Guelph Street Community Garden around 5pm and looping back around to end at the community garden.

Take a tour with one of our RAIN staff and get to know many of the beautiful garden and stormwater projects throughout the neighborhood. Stop and chat with the homeowners and get some inspiration for your own garden projects.

This event is a great opportunity to showcase the amazing work in the community and celebrate the hard work and dedication each resident has put into their property to make the RAIN Smart Neighbourhoods Project a success.

Date: | Wednesday, August 15

Time | 5pm – 6:30pm

Location | Guelph Street Community Garden (250 Guelph St, Kitchener, ON)

 

The RAIN Smart Neighbourhoods Project is nearing the end and we wanted to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of the Lakeside community. We are hosting a garden tour, in collaboration with a placemaking celebration in Lakeside park, to showcase the various projects that have been put in the ground over the past two seasons.

Join us to celebrate the implementation of the park’s new recycling bins and for a tour showcasing the success of neighbourhood projects, beginning at 11am, looping back around to end off at the park.

Take a tour with one of our RAIN staff and get to know many of the beautiful garden and stormwater projects throughout the neighborhood. Stop and chat with the homeowners and get some inspiration for your own garden projects.

This event is a great opportunity to showcase the amazing work in the community and celebrate the hard work and dedication each resident has put into their property to make the RAIN Smart Neighbourhoods Project a success.

Date: | Saturday, July 28

Time | 10am – 12pm

Location | Lakeside Park (Entrance at Lakeside Dr/Gatewood Rd.)

Plant a rain garden in beautiful Lakeside Park. Lakeside Park is a true gem in the heart of the city. It is home to a variety of wildlife and its natural beauty attracts people from all over the city. The Greenbrook Water Treatment in the park has been a source of Kitchener’s drinking water since it first was built in 1899.

By planting a rain garden next to this historic building you will be helping to enhance the habitat for urban wildlife, protect our drinking water and create a demonstration of sustainable gardening for visitors to the park. Please join us for a brief presentation on how to incorporate sustainable gardening practices to make your own yard healthier and tips on the types of plants to select. Following the presentation, get your hands dirty and help plant the garden that will herald the Greenbrook Drive entrance to the park for many years to come.

AGENDA

7:00-7:30 pm Introductions and Q&A
7:30-8:00 pm Planting, adding mulch, watering

PRESENTERS

Jeff Thompson, President, Rainworx
Jeff is an Environmental Biologist who has been teaching landscape professionals across Ontario on the proper design and construction of rain gardens.

 

 

Patrick Gilbride, RAIN Program Manager, Reep Green Solutions

TRANSPORTATION

We encourage the use of active transportation such as walking or biking.  Meeting spot will be at the park entrance on Greenbrook Drive. Please note: there is no parking available on-site, use on-street parking or the lot off Lakeside Drive near Gatewood Road.

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION

Join us for a work party to build a rain garden! This rain garden will provide habitat for wildlife, attractive native pollinators like bees and butterflies and encourage rainwater to replenish the ground water, reducing pollution.

Join us anytime between 9am – 3pm, remember to wear closed toed shoes and dress for the weather! No requirements to join the party, everyone is welcome to help out! Nothing is required for participation except an appetite as our host will be providing lunch for all volunteers.

RAIN Coach Becca Robinson will guide participants, step by step, through the construction of a rain garden. Following a short educational presentation on rain gardens at 10 am, participants are invited to help create a beautiful rain garden that will soak up storm-water that would otherwise run-off.

Rain gardens are constructed to capture a large volume of water. Rain gardens differ from conventional gardens because they are dug out and filled with a special soil/compost mixture, enabling the garden to act like a sponge. Learn step by step how to construct a rain garden to maximize its ability to capture water, while also enhancing and beautifying your outdoor space!

This workshop is part of our RAIN Smart Neighbourhoods project, in which two Kitchener neighbourhoods – Lakeside and Mount Hope – are receiving support to beautify their homes with landscapes that manage rain where it falls. If you live in one of these neighbourhoods, get in touch to see how we can help you make your home more RAIN Smart!

 A TIMELINE OF THE DAY’S EVENTS

(times are approximate)

  • 9:00 am – 10:00 am Digging out the rain garden
  • 10:00 am – 10:15 am: Presentation about rain gardens
  • 10:15 am – 11:15 am: Refilling the rain garden with special soil/compost mix
  • 11:15 am – 12:00 pm: Break for lunch
  • 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Planting plants, adding mulch, watering plants
  • 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Cleaning up

PRESENTERS

  • Becca Robinson, RAIN Coach, Reep Green Solutions
  • Patrick Gilbride, RAIN Program Manager, Reep Green Solutions

 

TRANSPORTATION

We encourage you to use a sustainable form of transportation such as walking, cycling or carpool.

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

City of KitchenerGreen Communities Canada

 

 

 

 

WITH FUNDING PROVIDED BY

 

 

 

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION

Join us for a work party to build a rain garden! This rain garden will provide habitat for wildlife, attractive native pollinators like bees and butterflies and encourage rainwater to replenish the ground water, reducing pollution.

RAIN Coach Michael Albanese will guide participants, step by step, through the construction of a rain garden. Following a short educational presentation on rain gardens at 10 am, participants are invited to help create a beautiful rain garden that will soak up storm-water that would otherwise run-off.

Rain gardens are constructed to capture a large volume of water. Rain gardens differ from conventional gardens because they are dug out and filled with a special soil/compost mixture, enabling the garden to act like a sponge. Learn step by step how to construct a rain garden to maximize its ability to capture water, while also enhancing and beautifying your outdoor space!

This workshop is part of our RAIN Smart Neighbourhoods project, in which two Kitchener neighbourhoods – Lakeside and Mount Hope – are receiving support to beautify their homes with landscapes that manage rain where it falls. If you live in one of these neighbourhoods, get in touch to see how we can help you make your home more RAIN Smart!

A TIMELINE OF THE DAY’S EVENTS

June 2, 2018 | 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

(times are approximate)

  • 10:00 am – 10:15 am: Presentation about rain gardens
  • 10:15 am – 11:30 am: Digging out the rain garden
  • 11:30 am – 12:15 pm: Refilling the rain garden with special soil/compost mix
  • 12:15 pm – 1:00 pm: Break for lunch
  • 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Planting plants, adding mulch, watering plants
  • 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm: Cleaning up

PRESENTERS

  • Michael Albanese, RAIN Coach, Reep Green Solutions
  • Patrick Gilbride, RAIN Program Manager, Reep Green Solutions

 

 

TRANSPORTATION

We encourage you to use a sustainable form of transportation such as walking, cycling or carpool.

 

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH

City of KitchenerGreen Communities Canada

 

 

 

WITH FUNDING PROVIDED BY:

 

 

COACH Series

This is a new series of events featuring our resident experts in home energy efficiency, RAIN Smart Homes and waste reduction.

Healthy Yards: Designing Your Garden

This workshop is perfect for Do-it-Yourselfers who have an early-stage plan for their healthy yard and desire additional design support to fulfill their vision for a healthy yard. We will build upon the concepts and principles learned in Healthy Yards: Idea Spark & Planning and guide you through a more detailed design for your healthy yard project(s).

Boulevard garden and Little Library

The workshop will focus on planting design and project planning for rain gardens and naturalized landscapes, as well as topics such as:

  • planting for year round interest
  • the best plants for rain gardens
  • harvesting rain to water plants
  • materials calculations (i.e. compost, sand, mulch)

Participants will leave with a planting design for a part (or all) of their yard and a shopping list for plants and related materials required to implement the project successfully.

Come with a specific gardening project in mind, including its size and location. This could possibly be developed during the Healthy Yards: Idea Spark & Planning workshop or through a RAIN Coach consultation. We will develop a scaled drawing of your garden during the workshop to effectively determine the number of plants and other materials you will require, so knowledge of the dimensions, sun exposure, and soil conditions (wet, dry, or moist or sand, silt or clay) will be helpful.

AGENDA

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

This workshop is a repeats of the workshop on Saturday Macrh 24. 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: 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.

COACH Series

This is a new series of events featuring our resident experts in home energy efficiency, RAIN Smart Homes and waste reduction.

Healthy Yards: Designing Your Garden

This workshop is perfect for Do-it-Yourselfers who have an early-stage plan for their healthy yard and desire additional design support to fulfill their vision for a healthy yard.  We will build upon the concepts and principles learned in Healthy Yards: Idea Spark & Planning and guide you through a more detailed design for your healthy yard project(s).

Boulevard garden and Little Library

The workshop will focus on planting design and project planning for rain gardens and naturalized landscapes, as well as topics such as:

  • planting for year round interest
  • the best plants for rain gardens
  • harvesting rain to water plants
  • materials calculations (i.e. compost, sand, mulch)

Participants will leave with a planting design for a part (or all) of their yard and a shopping list for plants and related materials required to implement the project successfully.

Come with a specific gardening project in mind, including its size and location. This could possibly be developed during the Healthy Yards: Idea Spark & Planning workshop or through a RAIN Coach consultation.  We will develop a scaled drawing of your garden during the workshop to effectively determine the number of plants and other materials you will require, so knowledge of the dimensions, sun exposure, and soil conditions (wet, dry, or moist or sand, silt or clay) will be helpful.

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 18 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.

By Sarah Lukaszczyk

On a late spring Saturday morning, I made the walk from my home in Waterloo to the Mount Hope Neighborhood; I was planning to volunteer at a rain barrel fundraiser for a local charity. As I walked I began to notice subtle changes in the landscape. From diverse, grass-free lawns blooming with wildflowers to pollinator-friendly plants, it was easy to see the different ways residents in this neighborhood  were safeguarding the environment and bettering the overall community aesthetic. Peoples’ desire to improve their yards was not limited to their lawns – standard grass boulevards were commonly replaced with an eye-catching arrangement of colourful flowers and other succulents. 

I noticed these neighbourhood improvements following my opportunity earlier that week to interview Mount Hope resident Stephen Barath, who recently installed a rain garden. In our interview, Stephen made me acutely aware of the neighborhood’s heightened conservation ethic. However, it was not until I saw the gradual transition from grass lawns to little forests during my walk that I felt like I was entering a little utopia.

As part of Reep’s RAIN Smart Neighbourhoods project, and under the watchful eye of his wife and two young daughters,  Stephen installed a rain garden on one of his rental properties. Digging holes and choosing native plants was rewarding, Stephen explained, a sense that was increasingly evident to me over the course of our interview.  As a daughter of a professional landscaper myself, it was invigorating to see the enjoyment and pride Stephen had towards his garden. It warmed my heart further to hear that his two-year-old daughter even got her hands dirty to help her Dad dig holes. That evoked memories of time spent with my own Dad as a child. Stephen’s understanding of the importance (and fun, as he reminded me repeatedly) of these projects to safeguarding our water and beautifying the community left a lasting impression, as he has already decided to build another rain garden on a different property.

Not entirely convinced it was all fun and games, I challenged Stephen to tell me something unexpected he had experienced while building the rain garden. He explained that in jest neighbours would stop and say things like ‘Did the water main break?’ while only one neighbour was able to correctly identify what Stephen was actually up to. A little girl who was walking home with her grandmother after school even exclaimed, “Look Grandma that man is still digging holes.” After describing them, Stephen went on to say that these exchanges with his neighbours were always welcome so he had a reason to take a break from digging and chat about the wider benefits of rain gardens for the community.

For his tenants the rain garden removes almost all the grass on the property. There is no longer a need to mow and Stephen imagines this could be seen as an added benefit for the renter and the landlord. Although, based on my brief time in the community, initiatives such as these are not merely done for the sake of convenience but also for their environmental benefit.

Being that Father’s Day had recently past, Stephen’s father came for a visit and while in town the two made time to see the new rain garden. Stephen admitted to me that while the garden didn’t look like much at present, his father observed that, “Like the acorns they used to plant together when Stephen was young, the garden will begin to bloom in due time.” And just as Stephen’s father continued to point out the different trees the two had planted in his youth, I imagine Stephen would likewise do the same with his own daughters in the years to come. Thanks to the help of Reep’s RAIN Coach, the family had resources that helped them to identify which native species were best suited for the area and whether they should be placed in the shade or sun.

Overall, my greatest take away from meeting Stephen and his family is that while fun, you don’t start these projects – especially the do-it-yourself ones – simply for yourself. These spaces are created to be shared, whether that be with the little girl and her grandma who live in the neighborhood, the Environmental studies student casually strolling by one Saturday morning or the busy bees and butterflies attracted by your hard work. It’s all worth it for the joy your rain garden brings to all who see it.

Visit Reep Green Solutions’ RAIN Smart Neighbourhoods web page to learn mo re information build your own rain garden and incentives available residents of Mount Hope on a first come, first served basis.


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