"My Rain Garden" – Fostering an Ethic to Maintain Roadway Amenities in View Royal
Showcasing Innovation meet and greet starts at 8:30am. Program concludes at 2:30pm after a walkabout. To download the agenda, click here. To register, contact Marlene Mullett at either 250-479-6800 or firstname.lastname@example.org Registration will be capped at 32.
Enhancement of the old Island Highway
Rain gardens are a core element of the Design with Nature strategy for the Island Highway Enhancement Project (IHIP) through the Town of View Royal. To foster hands-on involvement by the community, homeowners fronting on the old Island Highway will be involved in the decision-making for rain garden plant selection.
According to Emmet McCusker, Director of Engineering with the Town of View Royal, “Our goal is to foster an ethic that will result in homeowner commitment to maintaining rain gardens. Developing a community spirit around the concept of ‘it’s my rain garden’ is a key to the long-term success of IHIP in protecting and restoring the quality of Portage Inlet.”
Learning from the success of the Inter-Governmental Water Balance Model Partnership in using visual aids to promote understanding of how water moves through soil, the Town of View Royal has constructed a portable rain garden to demonstrate how dirty runoff is cleansed. “We heard about the work of Richard Boase of the District of North Vancouver, and decided to go one step further”, reports Emmet McCusker. “So we commissioned Lehna Malmkvist to construct a working model of an actual rain garden.”
Richard Boase, Environmental Protection Officer for the District of North Vancouver, demonstrates the positive impacts that 300mm of absorbant soil can have for rainwater infiltration at a Water Balance Model Training Workshop sponsored by the Urban Development Institute (UDI), and hosted by the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) at its Downtown Vancouver Campus.
The View Royal Portable Rain Garden
As part of the outreach program for the Water Balance Model, Richard Boase had constructed a set of three plexi-glass boxes to illustrate the benefits of increasing soil depth in slowing and capturing rainwater runoff. “Once we sat down to build the mini-rain garden, weight quickly became a governing consideration for portability,” explains Lehna Malmkvist, a vegetation ecologist. “So we had to scale the box dimensions accordingly. The portable rain garden has a mix of organic and mineral soils, plus there is a mulch layer on top. It also is complete with vegetation.”
“The portable rain garden is designed to be representative of a feature that could be created in someone’s front yard or to serve a parking lot,” continues Lehna Malmkvist. “It provides a ‘Bill Nye type’ live demonstration of dirty water IN and clean water OUT. A trough in the bottom functions as a drain.”
“Looking ahead, we will be using the portable rain garden for show-and-tell purposes to develop homeowner interest and buy-in,” elaborates Deb Becelaere, Engineering Technologist with the Town of View Royal. “The plexi-glass construction means people can view the dirty water percolate through the soil profile. We believe this visual experience will help build understanding of what we wish to accomplish with the rain gardens.”
“We are talking about a major shift in the way people think about their road frontage,” concludes Emmet McCusker. “We therefore believe that we are striving to accomplish will be of region-wide interest. By hosting the first event in the 2008 Showcasing Innovation Series, this provides us with an opportunity to share our experience to date while at the same time seeking feedback and input from our municipal peers.”
About the 2008 Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series
To learn about the three events comprising the 2008 program, click on the following link to read a web story titled Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation on Vancouver Island: The 2008 Capital Region Series.
The Series is organized is organized under the umbrella of Convening for Action on Vancouver Island (CAVI) in collaboration with the Capital Regional District. The goal of CAVI is to promote networking, inform and educate practitioners, and help local governments move ‘from awareness to action’ in doing business differently — The New Business As Usual — through sharing of approaches, tools, experiences and lessons learned that will ultimately inform a pragmatic strategy for climate change adaptation.
Showcasing Innovation in View Royal
View Royal developed an innovative Design with Nature strategy to obtain senior government funding for retrofitting the old Island Highway with transportation and rainwater management enhancements. These will achieve environmental, water quality and social sustainability objectives at both the road and community scales. To learn more about what to expect on September 12, click on the following links:
- The New Business As Usual: “Design with Nature” in British Columbia and be rewarded with infrastructure grants – According to the BC Ministry of Community Development, the Town of View Royal has developed a Green Infrastructure Grant Template that establishes a provincial benchmark for other municipalities to measure themselves against when applying for senior government funding.
- Town of View Royal shares its Green Infrastructure Grant Template with other British Columbia communities – The Town is taking a novel approach to sharing its Template: as part of the Showcasing Innovation day, it is orga
nizing an interactive group exercise using case study examples provided by other municipalities.
For a program overview and registration details, click on this link to download a copy of Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation in the Town of View Royal. Registration will be capped at 32.
To register, contact Marlene Mullett at either 250-479-6800 or email@example.com
Who is CAVI?
The CAVI Partnership comprises the British Columbia Water & Waste Association, the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, the provincial Ministries of Environment and Community Development, and the Green Infrastructure Partnership. CAVI is co-funded by the Province and the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia. The Water Sustainability Committee of the BCWWA is the managing partner and is providing program delivery. For more information about the CAVI Partnership and what it wants to do, please click here
Posted September 2008