Beautifying Bioswale

Bioswale: Noun – landscape elements designed to remove silt and pollution from surface runoff water. It’s a swaled drainage course with gently sloped sides (less than six per cent) and filled with vegetation, compost and/or stones. The water’s flow path, along with the wide and shallow ditch, is designed to maximize the time water spends in the swale, helping trap pollutants and silt.

I asked Mary-Margaret McMahon to write a little post about the bioswale project that she’s been working on with co-DECA-ite Lillian Salmon.  This pilot project is going in at Danforth and Cedarvale.

I was sick of the top of Cedarvale south looking ugly.  Our awesome pharmacist at ERA pharmacy has a lovely tree and we have planted some native species under it – especially sage.

Across the road is Joe’s Automotive and there are some hideous cement poles.  So Lillian and I met with Robert Mays from Public Realm at the City of Toronto (which includes the Clean and Beautiful program) and proposed a few bioswale ideas.  Robert thought this one was the most viable and our proposal passed with flying colours. Each city ward can receive $80,000 per year for Clean and Beautiful projects.

We are planning for two trees on either side, asphalt removal, native plants and shrubs, beautification and storm water management (we need to be concerned with the latter because we have combine sewers).

The City of Toronto is paying the bill.  Construction will start late summer.  The community will maintain it.  We want some rain barrels to harvest the rainwater from the buildings for irrigation.

I contacted neighbourhood dynamo Sara Heinonen – she and her husband own Zone 6 landscaping.  Sara and her teenaged nephew from Amroth Ave. offered to help with the design – he did the sketch.

It was easy.

Beautification + Greenery + Storm Water Management + Community Engagement + Youth empowerment + Uplifting Neighbours’ Spirits + No Cost + Expediency & Efficiency = WIN WIN WIN!

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