Bayfield rain garden grants
Bayfield residents have chance to protect Lake Huron, add beauty to their properties, and get grants to help them plant rain gardens in 2018
Bayfield residents have a chance to protect their lake, make their properties even more beautiful, and get grants to do it – by planting rain gardens.
“Local people suggested rain gardens as a management solution for dealing with urban runoff in the community-based Main Bayfield Watershed Plan,” said Hope Brock, Healthy Watersheds Technician with Ausable Bayfield Conservation. “Now homeowners have this great opportunity to install a rain garden and help protect Lake Huron.”
Rain gardens are shallow, sunken gardens. They collect, absorb and filter runoff and help prevent polluted runoff from reaching storm sewers and, ultimately, the lake. Rain gardens are low-maintenance gardens that can be designed to match existing landscaping, formal gardens or natural gardens. Homeowners can choose plants specifically to attract birds, butterflies, and other pollinators.
There has been considerable interest in rain gardens since the demonstration gardens went in at Pioneer Park in Bayfield in 2016, said Brock. “With this funding, we are trying to make it easier for homeowners to bring some of that beauty to their own yard,” she said. “By capturing stormwater in rain gardens, homeowners can help with localized flooding as rain gardens actually absorb more water than a grassed lawn.”
Bayfield homeowners interested in receiving funding to create a rain garden on their property should contact a local landscape professional who has received a Landscape Ontario endorsed rain garden certificate. (To find a list, visit the Ausable Bayfield Conservation rain gardens page at abca.ca at this link: https://www.abca.ca/page.php?page=rain-gardens). Once the contractor has provided a plan and a quote for the garden, the homeowner will need to contact Ausable Bayfield Conservation staff for a site visit to complete the application, which is available online at abca.ca. Grants, subject to approval, are paid out upon satisfactory completion of the rain garden. Homeowners can apply for funding without a contractor but preference is given to the applications that use a certified contractor.
A single downspout rain garden typically costs between $1,000 and $3,000, but will vary on the size of the garden. Bayfield homeowners can receive up to 50 per cent of the cash costs to a maximum of $500. The Huron County Clean Water Project and the Municipality of Bluewater, through its Blue Flag initiative, have provided funding.