This project will mobilize technical and ecological knowledge of rain gardens so that citizens, elementary and secondary school students, stewardship groups, and governments are aware of the benefits of rain gardens, learn how to access information and resources to assist in their design and construction, and engage with others in planning, installation and maintenance of these green infrastructure resources. It will use the ‘Water Balance Express for Landowners’ tool to connect desired watershed outcomes with what individuals do on their properties, and to measure the before and after conditions of water flow and quality.
The project will establish three demonstration rain gardens in prominent public spaces on Vancouver’s North Shore. It will develop a guide to community and school participation and local resources, and contractors trained in the construction of rain gardens, as well as conduct workshops for residents, professional landscapers and related contractors, and municipal staff to develop best practices in rain garden construction. The project will also develop policy recommendations for municipal incentives and standards to motivate and support residents in creating rain gardens on their properties and in public areas.
This is particularly relevant for the North Shore, where three municipalities, the City of North Vancouver, the District of North Vancouver, and the District of West Vancouver, are situated between Burrard Inlet and the steep southern slopes of the North Shore Mountains. The North Shore’s high levels of rainfall and runoff from the mountains’ deep snowpack feed a large system of rivers, creeks and streams, many of which are salmon bearing. But the rain and snowmelt also contribute to significant flooding when the urbanized landscape does not provide adequate permeable surfaces for water absorption.