Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) has received nearly $100,000 from Environment and Climate Change Canada to build six rain gardens at local schools.

A rain garden is a shallow area planted with shrubs, flowers, and grasses. It slows down, soaks up, and filters rainwater coming from nearby rooftops, driveways, and parking lots before flowing into the stormwater system. Rain gardens help to keep our streams, rivers, and lakes clean while also beautifying neighbourhoods and reducing localized flooding.

“We’re grateful for Environment and Climate Change Canada’s EcoAction Community grant,” said Deborah Martin-Downs, chief administrative officer at CVC. “It enables us, as local leaders in stormwater management, to bring our expertise to the community to make meaningful change on the ground. These rain gardens will help reduce pressure on municipal stormwater systems, improve schoolgrounds, and build climate change resilience.”

The funding enables CVC to plan, design, and install six rain gardens within a three-year period and reduce the overall cost per project.

CVC has already started work at five of the six schools—Janet I. McDougald Public School, Mineola Public School, Credit Valley Public School, Whitehorn Public School, and Belfountain Public School. CVC staff are currently investigating the sites and taking soil samples to determine the best spot for the rain gardens. The remaining Peel public school will be announced in 2021.

“The benefits of rain gardens extend beyond stormwater management,” said Phil James, manager of integrated watershed management at CVC. “Rain gardens are great outdoor classrooms and help teachers bring the curriculum to life. Students will help test soil, select plants and plant them, monitor for biodiversity, and care for the gardens.”

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The rain gardens will also provide the surrounding community with additional green space. They provide a demonstration of landscaping techniques that local residents and businesses can take to help communities adapt to climate change.

Header Image Credit: CVC.

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