YOU TUBE VIDEO: Judy Walker, Village of Cumberland planner, explains how rain gardens help achieve watershed goals

Towards Water-Wise Land Development in the Comox Valley

A Joint Staff Workshop hosted by the Comox Valley Regional District in December 2015 commenced the formal rollout of “A Guide to Water-Wise Land Development in the Comox Valley”.

Initiated in 2012 and completed in 2015, this guidance document was developed by the Comox Valley-CAVI Regional Team (note: CAVI is the acronym for ‘Convening for Action on Vancouver Island’).

View the YouTube video above (3 1/2 minutes) to listen to Judith Walker, Planner with the Village of Cumberland, explain rain gardens. Click on Rain Gardens to download a PDF copy of the PowerPoint presentation by Judith Walker, and follow along as she elaborates on key messages.

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Selected Tools to Achieve Watershed Goals in the Comox Valley

Topsoil-Bylaws-Toolkit_2012_coverThe Water-Wise Guide identifies strategies and tools to achieve watershed goals. Six tools are described, including the Topsoil Bylaws Toolkit.

A well-designed landscape with healthy topsoil helps communities through both wet and dry times. Developed by an inter-regional partnership led by the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB), the Topsoil Bylaws Toolkit gives local governments practical tools that support smart topsoil policies. The Toolkit presents basic principles of topsoil science and management. It also provides sample policy and bylaw language.

Landscape Tools – Rain Gardens

“One tool that we hear a lot about is rain gardens. Topsoil and/or amended soil is key for water retention, and that is one feature of rain gardens that makes them so effective for  water storage,” stated Judith Judy_2010_120pWalker.

“Soil depth creates a sponge which can limit runoff during wet weather; and reduce water need during dry weather.”

“While the rain garden may be seen as a private home owner tool, it is being used by municipalities and developers in order to reduce the occurrence of flashy flows that would otherwise run off from sites.”

“(In the photo image below) note the catch basin, which is only needed should the storm event result in more rainwater runoff than the  soils and plants can hold. Keep in mind that 75% of the rainfall is dealt with!”

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