We built a rain garden at Alton Park this September with the help of volunteers from Intact Insurance and Alton Public School. The site is an educational resource for students of neighbouring Alton Public School, teaching them about the water cycle, biodiversity and how to care for their local environment. The garden is also a demonstration site for the community, showcasing what people can do to improve water quality and decrease flooding on their properties.
Students from Alton Public School were involved in the project from the start. In 2013, they helped us win a grant from Shell FuellingChange by encouraging residents to vote for the project online. This past June, the students helped us choose a design and select plants for the garden at a design workshop held in partnership with Fern Ridge Landscaping. In September, students and teachers at the school created a beautiful art piece from reclaimed wood that will be featured in the garden.
Intact Insurance recruited 37 volunteers to assist with construction. Volunteers planted the garden and created decorative stepping stones. They also toured two local homes that feature rain gardens and learned how they can make their own homes more water efficient.
Rain gardens collect rainwater from hard surfaces, such as roofs or pavement, and filter out pollutants so cleaner water can flow into our waterways. The rain garden at Alton Park collects rainwater from the roof of a pavilion and helps clean this water before it enters Shaws Creek, a tributary of the Credit River.
The Alton Park rain garden is one of three demonstration sites recently built in Alton Village. Rain gardens were also built on two residential properties in the village. These sites prove that you can build a fantastic looking landscape and also ensure clean and abundant water for the community.