EcoSuperior Rain Garden in Thunder Bay to help reduce water runoff into city storm sewers

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Habitat for Humanity’s front lawn in Thunder Bay, Ontario is smaller thanks to the work of some volunteers to build a new rain garden.

The garden, measuring approximately four by three meters, will absorb water flowing from the roof of the group’s office and the city’s ReStore.

The rain garden was created with the work of volunteers on Wednesday morning.

“This is one of the many different techniques you can use in an urban watershed to manage stormwater runoff,” said Julia Prinselaar, program coordinator at EcoSuperior.

EcoSuperior provided labor, as well as knowledge on how to build the rain garden.

While the goal is to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff, the plants in the garden will also help “infiltrate stormwater pollutants to help prevent urban flooding.”

Prinselaar said more and more home owners and business owners are wondering about building rain gardens where current lawns or walkways are located, in order to reduce storm water runoff.

She said a lack of rain this summer, with heavy rains earlier in the year, proves how important gardens are when it comes to adapting properties to climate change.

“So because they are planted with species that root very deep in the soil, they are well suited to extremes, especially the species we have selected are perfect for planting and wintering in our extremely cold climate. “

“They also tend to break up the soil, pull water deep into the soil, survive and thrive during times of lack of rain, as well as times of heavy rain.”

Prinselaar said the budget for a rain garden can vary depending on the size and plants and landscaping required for the area, but a typical home version could range from $ 500 to $ 1,000. EcoSuperior, as well as the city, have grants to offset part of the costs.

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