Monday, August 14, 2017

Constructed Wetlands in Ottawa

Monahan Drain Constructed Wetlands

I found out about the Monahan Drain when I was reading about the Ottawa 2017 maple groves that were being planted all over the city.

From the website:

"This artificial wetland complex, with approximately 230,000 m3 of overall storage, consisted of three storage cells sized to provide both flooding and erosion control, a wetland cell, and five sedimentation forebays designed to meet the water quality objectives of the Rideau River.  The wetland complex was designed to offer diversified wetland plantings that are native to the Ottawa area.  Plantings consisted of numerous species for each of the five zones: deep aquatic, deep emergent, shallow emergent, riparian, and upland zone.  The intent was to direct storm flows through all zones to maximize the wetland’s ability to remove nutrients, TSS, and E.Coli.  Various complex engineering analyses were carried out to size the different elements of the facility: hydrological to simulate synthetic design storm events, long-term simulations to evaluate removal of bacteria and TSS, long-term simulations to assess erosion and investigate rain-on-snowmelt events, and steady-state and hydrodynamic hydraulic analyses. The wetland is now an important community feature of Bridlewood, used for many passive recreational pursuits."

Designed by J.L. Richards

P.S. Check out my latest "urban wild" nature blog: Wild. Here.
(2016 update)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Cool Ottawa Initiatives - Central Park and Old Ottawa South

Central Park Garden Club Beautification Project

 From the website:

The Central Park Garden Club began beautifying neighbourhood “Super Mailboxes” in 2011. The aim is to install and maintain low-maintenance perennial plantings around all the mailboxes in the Central Park neighbourhood at the rate of three or four a year.

Sunnyside Bio-retention Project

From the website:

The city plans to put three rain gardens in at various intersections along the stretch of the street that will not only provide a calming aspect for traffic but will also serve as a bio-retention area for excess surface runoff. A big concern with regards to the rain gardens as green stormwater infrastructure, was the question of who would maintain them. The city of Ottawa representatives said that they are working with other sectors with in the city of Ottawa to coordinate the seasonal upkeep, which would be minimal. They encouraged residents to play a role in helping maintain the rain gardens.  Plants include: Aster, Marsh Marigold, Helinium, Camas, Coneflower, Geranium, Blue Flag Iris, Switch Grass and Goldenrod

Ecology Ottawa write up link.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Transforming Business Campuses into Habitat!

When I was at the ICLEI conference in Montreal in 2011 there was this young woman who presented her master's thesis about creating new habitat for wildlife in business campuses.

All that space, green lawn, large property and typically it's a dead zone or they plant exotics like hostas - so she was proposing to bring back native habitat including ponds and streams and develop these spaces as greenspace corridors.

Such a brilliant idea!  And now I have found The Wildlife Habitat Council which promotes and certifies habitat conservation and management on corporate lands through partnerships and education!  Exactly what she was envisioning!

Check them out - they have a white paper for download and on-demand webinars (free of charge).

From their website:
"The opportunity exists to re-examine the way corporate campus lands are managed. New and existing corporate campuses can incorporate nature in their designs, realizing the cost savings of native landscaping, the human benefits of a more natural setting, and the opportunity to restore productive habitat and reconnect a fragmented suburban landscape."

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Landscape Renewal of the Garden of the Provinces and Territories

From the NCC website:
Inspired by the design principles of the New Perennial Movement, the Garden of the Provinces and Territories will receive over 10,000 plants representative of species found across Canada’s provinces and territories. More than ever, it will be a national garden. In keeping with the movement’s principles, the design entails a mixture of long-flowering and strong-stemmed perennials, as well as ornamental grasses. The work taking place this spring will allow for two years of plant growth, resulting in a significant floral display that will mature just in time for Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017.
The design will take shape in the Garden of the Provinces and Territories according to the following themes:
  • Prairie Garden (1,000 square metres)
  • Tundra/Rock Garden (275 square metres)
  • Woodland Garden under existing mature trees (450 square metres)
  • Canadian Horticultural Pioneers Garden, showcasing early cultivars and hybrids, bred specifically for the harsh Canadian climate by horticulturalists across Canada (190 square metres)

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

More Green Space in Chicago!

Photo by Justin Breen The Field Museum

Chicago continues to inspire!!

First I found out about their bird friendly skyscraper design and then next it was Milwaukee Avenue Green Development Corridor.  After that I read about all these other green nature initiatives that had been happening:

 - City Hall's Rooftop Garden
- the Green Roof Grant Program
- Nature and Wildlife Plan
- Green Alley Program
- Urban Forest Agenda
- 606 (green line)
- Chicago Botanical Garden's "Horticultural Therapy Program"
Burnham Wildlife Corridor

and now it's Northerly Island!

They are rejuvenating the island with 400 trees and 12000 shrubs by 2017, which will add a more diverse habitat and resting spot for birds.

From DNA info "Northerly Island Is Now A Bird Paradise With 250 Species And Counting" by Justin Breen:
Stotz said that Northerly Island's new look has saved the lives of countless birds. The island used to feature only dry grassland, which kept birds from landing there. Instead, they would fly from Lake Michigan into the city and often crash into McCormick Place. 
"Northerly Island has become an important habitat for preventing birds from hitting McCormick Place," he said. "There used to be no place to stop, and now there is."

Read more about it at DNA Info article and "Northerly Island Reopens" by The Field Museum, Joshua Engel.

Another great organization in Chicago is Open Lands which "has helped protect more than 55,000 acres of land for public parks and forest preserves, wildlife refuges, land and water greenway corridors, urban farms, and community gardens."  Currently they are working on a green vision for some empty industrial sites along Lake Calumet.

Very inspiring!!