Project: Rain Gardens in Essex County

By |2017-01-11T19:13:50-04:00February 28th, 2013|Environmental projects|

The west basin of Lake Erie has been seriously impacted by rain water runoff which carries contaminants and phosphorous which in turn fuels  large blooms of toxic algae. To mitigate this a simple green infrastructure project, to be designed and tested is the installation of rain gardens. Rain gardens are constructed around drains and catch basins to collect rainwater before it goes into the subsurface system. The rain gardens will have native plants chosen for their ability to  filter contaminants and having high uptakes for phosphorous. The first flush of rain is often the most contaminated so even small rain events can be detrimental to water quality and with a rain garden should greatly reduce that water from ever reaching the storm drains.

Our rain garden project is supporting  the work that the Essex Region Conservation Authority does and will be constructed as a pilot project in the Town of Harrow, at the arena adjacent the Harrow High School where stormwater from the municipal parking lots and fields  goes directly to the west basin of Lake Erie. We are calling out for anyone interested in volunteering for the site prep work and planting.

For more information on blue green algae, attached is a fact sheet. The rain garden project will also include the production of a ‘how to’ manual as well as a youtube video later in 2013

Algal blooms FAQs – ERCA

Attached is a tentative time line for the project. For more details contact Jesse, Phil or Chitra Gowda at ERCA (519) 776-5209 ext 342

Task Timeline
Pre-garden preparation (garden design, species selection) March 30, 2013
Site preparation (outreach, procure materials, digging, etc.) April 30, 2013
Planting May 30, 2013
Follow up site visit August 31, 2013
Evaluation and assessment October 31, 2013
Manual, youtube video December 31, 2013
Report to MOE February 1, 2014