Last year was busy for rain gardens in Hamilton! Green Venture launched Hamilton’s first rain garden rebate program. Participants learned from our RAIN Coach on best practices to manage rain where it falls. This is beneficial for our communities, reducing the stress on our grey stormwater systems, providing homes for pollinators, keeping basements dry and much more!
Our NATURhoods launch started with some community events to get the buzz around town! Learning what green infrastructure is, why it matters and how to get started on your own property. We invited participants to join us for an even more in depth webinar with Design Workshops. Our green infrastructure specialists helped the participants learn about sketching out their designs, how to measure the amount of stormwater to capture and the best plants for their garden. Seventeen consultations were provided by our RAIN Coach, Micheal Albanese to learn firsthand how to manage rain on their properties. In total we had 11 projects submitted, absorbing 1.3 million litres of stormwater annually!
Let’s look some highlights from the class of 2021
Off the Chain
This homeowner got creative with their downspouts! Instead of rerouting their downspouts to enter the rain garden, they decided to install a rain chain. The rain chain allowed them to easily install a water source for the garden in the front yard. We loved this project for it’s unique and creative design!
Two for One
What’s better than one rain garden? TWO! We had two homeowners decide to take on the task of installing multiple rain gardens. One property found that the rebate was the perfect opportunity to give both the backyard and frontyard a makeover and the other decided a smaller rain garden close to the deck and another along the fence was a perfect accent to their backyard. We love that homeowners wanted to use up as much space as possible with green infrastructure and decided to split the work between two gardens!
Library for Pollinators
This rain garden is adjacent to a little library, giving not only folks walking by reading material but pollinators a place to ‘lend’ some flowers! At this site the homeowner disconnected their downspout (check out the rebate program from the City of Hamilton) and rerouted it from the storm drains to a rain barrel that feeds a brand new rain garden!
Right off the Page
This homeowner took the advice from our RAIN Coach Michael Albanese and his book, The Modern Rain Garden, to create this amazing new garden. Check out the article Norman wrote about it here. We’re impressed by how he integrated the RAIN Coach’s advice during his consultation including the placement to utilize the downspouts, sump pump and run off from the side of his home! Great work!
What a paradise for pollinators this homeowner built! This massive rain garden is not only soaking up so much rain from the downspouts but the homeowner added an array of native plants to feed hungry pollinators on their street corner. We love the additions of rock labels to help educate others on the different species found in the garden!
Making Way for Rain
Two homeowners didn’t need to start from scratch to create their rain gardens. These homeowners already had developed gardens that just needed a little extra muscle power to manage the rainfall. First they rerouted the downspouts into the garden, a simple first step to slowing down the rain and reducing runoff. But they went a step further, creating swales and bowls in the garden and refilling with native plants that love to soak up the water. What a great creative way to use what you already have! Even better, one homeowner used swaps and ‘buy nothing’ groups to get plants and stones!
Rock this Way
Not all green infrastructure is…green. Seriously – sometimes we use rocks as a permeable option. Two homeowners decided the way to go was rocks and stones. A dry rock swale is a great way to move water with one homeowner conveyed water from a downspout, to a rain barrel into this cool rock display that spills into the garden. Their existing garden is loving the new water source and the foundation of the porch is no longer inundated with water that was causing cracking! Another homeowner decided permeable paving was the way to go for their patio. The spaces between the rocks allows for water to continue to soak in while providing a space to enjoy the outdoors! We love these different and unique options!
Rain Gardens for All Ages
This homeowner got the whole family involved! They sent us photos of the kids enjoying the process of building the rain garden including getting right in the dirt. Rain gardens are a great introduction into explaining the water cycle, how urbanization impacts our lives and climate change. Consider next time you go into the garden to invite the little ones along!