October 28, 2014 – Rain gardens collect and filter rain water. They also inspire students to create beautiful one-of-a-kind sculptures. On Wednesday October 22, students at Alton Public School unveiled their art projects, made from reclaimed wood, which will be showcased as permanent art installations in the new rain garden at Alton Park.

The rain garden is an educational resource for students, 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. Credit Valley Conservation (CVC) built the rain garden in partnership with Alton Public School and the Town of Caledon.

“Rain gardens are beautiful additions to any property,” said Julie McManus, a spokesperson for Credit Valley Conservation (CVC). “We’re very encouraged by the level of involvement from Alton Public School. These students are the next generation of environmental champions.”

Kindergarten through grade six students from Alton Public School were involved in the project from the start. In 2013, they helped CVC win a grant from Shell FuellingChange by encouraging residents to vote for the project online. This past June, the students helped CVC 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 beautiful art pieces from reclaimed wood that are now featured in the garden.

“The artwork speaks to the strong connection between art and nature,” said McManus. “The rain garden inspired these students but more importantly, we’re inspired by the students’ commitment to the natural environment.”

Rain gardens collect rainwater from hard surfaces, such as roofs or pavement, and filter out pollutants so cleaner water can flow into waterways. They also help conserve a valuable and often disregarded source of water. 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.

Conservation Authorities are a provincial/municipal partnership. CVC was established by an act of the province in 1954 with a mandate to protect all natural resources other than minerals in the area drained by the Credit River. We have been working for 60 years with our partner municipalities and stakeholders to protect and enhance the natural environment of the Credit River watershed for present and future generations. CVC is a member of Conservation Ontario. CVC gratefully acknowledges financial support from our member municipalities for facilities, programs and services: the Regions of Peel and Halton; the Cities of Mississauga and Brampton; the Towns of Caledon, Erin, Halton Hills, Mono, Oakville and Orangeville; and the Townships of Amaranth and East Garafraxa. CVC is a member of Conservation Ontario.

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Photos:
Students at Alton Public School unveil their outdoor art, which is permanently on display in the rain garden next to the school.
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Media Contact
Jon MacMull
Supervisor, Marketing & Communications
Credit Valley Conservation
905-670-1615 x 385
[email protected]

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