To mitigate heavy fall rains, it’s important to allow rainwater to infiltrate into the ground to help protect aquatic habitat, filter pollutants and capture and store rainwater. Photo courtesy the CRD

To mitigate heavy fall rains, it’s important to allow rainwater to infiltrate into the ground to help protect aquatic habitat, filter pollutants and capture and store rainwater. Photo courtesy the CRD

2 simple steps to prepare your yard + garden for fall rain events

Native plants, permeable surfaces mitigate runoff and protect waterways

Our lingering sunny days may feel like we’re still in the midst of summer, but fall’s arrival means the rainy season won’t be far behind.

Remembering last year’s record rainfall events for the Capital Region, and with climate projections indicating this trend will continue, now is the ideal time for a few simple projects around your property that will help capture, slow and store rainwater. This will minimize the peak flows and reduce neighbourhood flooding.

Historically, stormwater systems were designed to move water off the land as quickly as possible. But this can be like turning a fire hose on local creeks and streams, devastating fish habitat. Today, we know it’s important to allow rainwater to infiltrate into the ground to help protect aquatic habitat, filter pollutants and capture and store rainwater.

It’s why local municipalities have been installing green stormwater infrastructure around the region, but there are things property owners can do as well.

  1. Plant native trees and shrubs – Native plant species have thrived in our region for millennia and have evolved with native insects, birds and mammals to support each other. They’re also water-wise and require little watering or fertilizing once established in the right spot.

    Native trees and shrubs can also help manage rain water by absorbing and storing rain where it falls in our yards – creating an absorbent landscape is one of the best things you can do to reduce and prevent flooding as we face a changing climate.

    And, as an added benefit of promoting biodiversity and a healthy ecosystem, you’ll also be creating essential habitat for local wildlife including migrating birds and pollinators. For more, including a wide range of native plant options for your garden, click here.

  2. Reduce paved areas – As native vegetation is removed to create roads, driveways and buildings, these hard surfaces cannot absorb rain. This creates stormwater runoff that can cause flooding, erosion, pollution and habitat degradation in our waterways.

    Where possible, instead of impermeable hardscaped areas, choose permeable paving options such as brick, grass or gravel, which allow the rain to naturally absorb where it falls.

To learn more about ways you can help support the local environment visit www.crd.bc.ca/live-green

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