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.

Reep House Series

Our resident rain barrel expert, Brendan Schaefer will walk you through the basics of prepping your rain barrels for the winter to come and how they can be beneficial for you. Brendan will help you be sure your rain barrel will sitll help you save on water in the future and not cause problems for your home.

Presentation: 1:30 p.m.

Q&A: 2:15 p.m.

Reep Open House: 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

Brendan Schaefer has been a RAIN Guide at Reep Green Solutions for many of years with our RAIN program, and was previously a Water Guide with our Well Aware program. He has visited hundreds of homes and commercial properties, giving advice about best practices for rain barrels and other stormwater management features.

 

Transportation

We encourage the use of active transportation such as walking or biking. The house is just off the Iron Horse Trail. 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.

Parking

You are welcome to use Schneider Ave or David Street parking. The Victoria Park Pavilion parking lot is also free to use and only a few minutes walk to the Reep House. Please do not park at the Schneider Haus or Mitchell St lots (click to enlarge map)

Reep Green Solutions is proud to announce the much anticipated RAIN Smart Framework for Municipalities! We worked together with Partners for Action to develop a guide for engaging communities on progressive stormwater management. This framework includes ready-to-use templates and resources on how to build a program to engage a residential neighbourhood on lot-level stormwater management.

Our work developing the RAIN Smart Neighbourhood Project in the City of Kitchener in Lakeside and Mount Hope neighbourhoods provided us with the real world experience to create this framework. The project ground tested several methods of engagement with homeowners to increase resiliency of stormwater infrastructure on a neighbourhood scale.

Municipalities can use this framework as an aid to develop their own strategies for enlisting community members help to manage rain close to where it falls. The framework offers practical suggestions to increase public awareness of stormwater management issues and green stormwater infrastructure (GSI), promoting residential update of GSI, and fostering collaboration between residential homeowners, citizen grounds and municipal staff.

 

Download the RAIN Smart Framework for Municipalities!

 

RAIN Smart infographic

This project was made possible with the support of Ontario Trillium Foundation, City of Kitchener, and Partners for Action.

 

after depave render

What’s a ‘depave’? Learn more about the project!

Join Reep Green Solutions and Sheppard Public School Parent Council as we transform an underused area of tarmac into a naturalized play space!  During the workday, we will work together to:

–  Remove remaining tarmac and associated gravel sublayer

–  Fill in the new space with healthy soil and mulch to prepare for Sheppard classes to subsequently plant trees and shrubs

– Clean up the Natural Area (prune shrubs, rake leaves, etc)

– *New* ‘Kids’ activities provided by Evergreen’s Neighbourhood Nature Play program

Refreshments and lunch will be available at the event but please bring a water bottle to stay hydrated. Dress according to the weather and be prepared to get dirty. We recommend long pants and closed toe shoes (bring steel toed shoes if able, toe caps will be provided). Families are welcomed to join, activities available for all ages.

Date/Time: Sunday, October 28, 10am – 2pm
Location: Sheppard Public School ( 278 Weber St E, Kitchener, ON N2H 1G2) 
Registration: Free
Refreshments + lunch provided

Agenda

All Day | Natural Area Clean Up

10am – 12pm | Remove Tarmac + Gravel .

12pm – 2pm | Soil + Mulching

Partners

Logo for Ontario Trillium Foundation, Depave Paradise and Green Communities Canada

 

Registration

Our resident rain barrel expert, Brendan Schaefer will walk you through the basics of prepping your rain barrels for the winter to come and how they can be beneficial for you. Brendan will help you be sure your rain barrel will sitll help you save on water in the future and not cause problems for your home.

Presentation: 1:30 p.m.

Q&A: 2:15 p.m.

Reep Open House: 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.

 

Brendan Schaefer has been a RAIN Guide at Reep Green Solutions for many of years with our RAIN program, and was previously a Water Guide with our Well Aware program. He has visited hundreds of homes and commercial properties, giving advice about best practices for rain barrels and other stormwater management features.

Transportation

We encourage the use of active transportation such as walking or biking. The house is just off the Iron Horse Trail. 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.

Parking

You are welcome to use Schneider Ave or David Street parking. The Victoria Park Pavilion parking lot is also free to use and only a few minutes walk to the Reep House. Please do not park at the Schneider Haus or Mitchell St lots (click to enlarge map)

Depave Paradise (a program of Reep Green Solutions) will lead the community in transforming asphalt-covered areas of Sheppard Public School into a dynamic naturalized play space.

Kitchener, ON. On Sunday October 28, the Sheppard Public School community, with partners Reep Green Solutions and Green Communities Canada, will tear up unused pavement and create a naturalized green space for the children of Sheppard Public School. The project will capture rainwater, beautify our community, and showcase a more sustainable way to managed stormwater in urban areas through a program called Depave Paradise. This Depave project is part of an exciting new trend of neighbourhood workbees that renew underutilized, hard urban spaces.

Participants will liberate this area from asphalt and reclaim the space for nature play, creating the first ever ‘depave’ site in Waterloo region. “Hard surfaces, such as driveways, parking lots and buildings interrupt the natural water cycle by preventing rain water from soaking into the ground, thus creating heat island effects, and warming up our cities. By removing pavement and replacing it with native plants, trees and shrubs we are increasing the infiltration rate, recharging our groundwater supply, and cooling the schoolyard,” Becca Robinson, Landscape Designer for Reep Green Solutions explains.

Based on consultation with students and staff at Sheppard Public School, including a ‘Shade Audit’ by the Waterloo Region Public Health and in-class design workshops, the new play space will include native trees and shrubs to provide shade for students and natural objects, such as stumps, logs, and a naturalized ground surface that will absorb more stormwater runoff and reduce the heat radiating off of the play surface during hot days.

Stormwater is the rain or snow that falls on cities and towns and eventually washes into our storm drains. Along the way it picks up a host of toxic chemicals, bacteria, and contaminants like oil, grease, pet waste, litter and salt. These things mix with the water that then proceeds to flow through our drains, untreated, back into rivers and lakes.

“The hands-on depaving process and subsequent tree plantings capture the hearts and energies of our school community, working together to make our school yard healthier for both the environment and students. We are excited to demonstrate to others the power to make positive change when individuals act together,” said Christy Webster, Principal of Sheppard Public School.

With additional community support and a grant provided by TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, this Depave Paradise project at Sheppard Public School will encourage greener infrastructure in Waterloo Region and showcase the power of community mobilization for a greener future.

Depave Press Release PDF.

Depave Event Registration

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Reep Green Solutions is an environmental charity based in the Waterloo Region committed to helping people live sustainably. Reep offers home energy, waste reduction, water conservation and healthy yards services. You may also contact Donnique Williams, [email protected], 519-744-6583 ext. 222, for additional comments.

 

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

 

Sheppard Public School staff, students, and Parent Council are working together with Reep Green Solutions to DEPAVE an underutilized area of tarmac and transform it into a dynamic naturalized play space! On Sunday, October 28 at 10am volunteers from the school and surrounding community will work together to liberate the ground from tarmac and gravel subsurface and install healthier soil and mulch in its place to kick-off the tarmac makeover.

BEFORE

before depave Sheppard public school

AFTER

after depave render

Afterwards, we will be working with students and Parent Council to install:

  1. Native trees and shrubs to provide shade for students and a buffer between the tarmac and the teacher’s parking lot.
  2. Natural objects, like boulders and logs, and a mud table
  3. A naturalized ground surface that will absorb more stormwater runoff and reduce the heat radiating off of the play surface during hot days.

 

mud table

Hahn Plastics Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The plans for this area were developed after consultation with students and staff and design workshops with Grade 5 and 6 classes in the spring that illuminated some of the problems with the status quo. Our proposed solution will help absorb rain (reducing mud problems) and provide shade in an otherwise hot play area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve partnered with Waterloo Public Health to look at the need for shade in the schoolyard, and sampled temperatures on various surfaces, such as the tarmac, the “kindy area” and the “natural area”.  On a hot day, typical for the beginning and end of the school year, there was sometimes a 15C° difference between the black tarmac and a softer surface material like wood chips!  We want to create more shady and cool play surfaces for our kids as extreme temperatures and high UV warnings are becoming more prevalent.

https://twitter.com/DepaveParadise/status/1045872190418276352

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interested in being part of this makeover?

  • VOLUNTEER!
    • Register for the event to rip out tarmac and place soil
    • DONATE!
    • We are seeking in-kind donations of tarmac saw cutting, provision of a disposal bin, soil, mulch, pry bars, trees and shrubs, and food and refreshments.  Contact [email protected] if you can help.
    • Parent Council is still raising money to purchase additional challenging obstacles like a log jam climbing structure.  Contact [email protected] if you are interested in donating towards this.

Eventbrite - Depave Paradise at Sheppard Public School

 

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


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