Part of the David Suzuki Foundation's Homegrown National Park Project, the Rain Gardens of Danforth East Village is a pilot project that aims to beautify a network of urban yards while making them easier to maintain, more attractive to bees, birds and butterflies, and better able to handle severe storms and extreme heat.
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In June, the project won the Toronto Foundation's 2015 Vital Innovation Award, which celebrates and supports ideas with the potential to enhance Torontonians' health and well-being.
The new rain gardens will benefit 10 properties in the City of Toronto's East York-Danforth Village, where homes sit atop generally sandy soils and former waterways that once emptied into Ashbridges Bay. They'll feature locally adapted wildflowers, shrubs and trees that will need little to no watering once established. A landscaped, shallow depression in each yard will naturally absorb and filter stormwater, preventing flooding.
Volunteer Homegrown Park Ranger Marc Yamaguchi and local residents and volunteers planted the first front yard rain garden as part of 100-in-1-day on June 6, 2015. They hope to create a low-maintenance model for other residents to adopt and adapt in their yards across the city.
The Homegrown National Park Project is an effort to re-imagine the city as a National Park, one simple, community-led, green intervention at a time. For more information, visit davidsuzuki.org/homegrown.