Landscaper Training on Stormwater - Oct 26, 2009
Water protection NGO and green landscaper partner to hold workshop - Stormwater Management Basics for Landscapers - Workshop, November 3 at 1:30pm in Toronto
Toronto, Canada - October 26, 2009
RiverSides and Green Gardeners Community Collaborative Inc. are pleased to announce a workshop for green landscapers and those who are interested in greening their services. The workshop will benefit Toronto’s watersheds and introduce contractors and businesses to ideas about how to compete in a greener and more cost-conscious marketplace. It will help to build understanding of the benefits of linking environmental issues to client solutions for home and garden.
Join us on November 3, 2009 at The Wychwood Barns Community Gallery, 601 Christie Street from 1:30 to 4.00pm.
The landscape industry is rapidly evolving as larger ecological concerns become more pressing and the regulatory environment shifts. New certifications are becoming available for organic landscapers, and key indicators and ratings systems like LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) are setting the bar for meeting and exceeding regulatory requirements. A key component of all certification/rating systems includes onsite management of water - pollution and run-off prevention, site stewardship and ecological practices that contribute to improved urban water conditions.
At the workshop landscape contractors will learn how to add value for clients through rain and water saving programs. Case studies and hands on demos will introduce new developments in on-site management of stormwater, including rain/bog gardens, rain barrels, rainwater harvesting and other solutions. This is especially relevant in light of the City of Toronto’s 2007 downspout disconnection by-law which requires all Toronto’s residents to disconnect their downspouts from the sewer system. Homeowners in the combined sewer area of Toronto will be responsible for managing stormwater on their properties using rain barrels and/or other landscape solutions.
The workshop is free. Light refreshments will be served.
Click here to register online.
For more information about the workshop, contact RiverSides:
RiverSides is a Toronto-based non-profit organization dedicated to urban watershed protection through reduction of stormwater pollution. RiverSides works with community groups, businesses and municipalties to provide the knowledge and tools people need to take action. RiverSides hosts homeowner education workshops, an educational website and community walking tours.
About Green Gardeners Community Collaborative www.greengardeners.ca
Green Gardeners Community Collaborative is a social enterprise that designs delivers customized green gardening and landscaping solutions to homeowners, commerical and community clients and partners. Green Gardeners has pioneered a low pollution landscaping/gardening service using bike trailers and hand tools, promotes edible landscaping to address food security and works with homeowners to reduce their footprint with their garden installation and maintenance projects.
This workshop is funded in part by the City of Toronto’s Community Program for Stormwater Management, administered by the TRCA.
Thirsty City Walk & Workshop Event on Saturday, September 26th - Sep 1, 2009
Thirsty City Walks & Workshops presents:
"Water and Energy - exploring the connection in Toronto's landscape” - a walk & workshop investigating the intricate links between water and energy using local examples.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
1 - 4:30pm
Free! Refreshments will be served.
1pm @ University Ave & Queen Street West (NE corner)
Led by John Wilson of the Task Force to Bring Back the Don and Helen Mills of Lost Rivers
Workshop & Discussion:
2:15pm @ the Metro Hall at 55 John Street (at King Street West), Room # 308
Facilitated by RiverSides and featuring two guest speakers:
- Martin Liefhebber of Breathe Architects will speak about architecture and design for urban sustainability
- Emily Alfred from RiverSides will discuss how rainwater harvesting application in Toronto's buildings can help to reduce the City's energy bill and green house gas emissions
For more information:
About this coming event call 416.868.1983 or email email@example.com
About the Thirsty City Walks and Workshops project visit www.thirstycitywalks.ca
*This event is supported by the Water Guardians Network, the Unilever Foundation and Mountain Equipment Co-op.
Greenest City launches a new rain harvesting system - Sep 26, 2008
RiverSides is happy to support our friends at Greenest City as they celebrate the launch of their rainwater harvesting system.
Greenest City has worked with Toronto’s Parks and Recreation Department to install a 1,550 gallon (5876 L) tank at the Masaryk-Cowan Community Centre in Parkdale. The project was funded by a grant from Organic Gardening magazine. The project is unique in Toronto, and the community will have first-hand interaction with the rainwater tank – community gardeners will use a hand-pump to water the garden. This project is a triumph for a small organization, and an excellent demonstration project for Toronto.
RiverSides’ Director Emily J. Alfred and RiverSides’ Founder Kevin Mercer will be present at the launch on Sunday September 27th to speak about the environmental benefits of rainwater harvesting.
5 THINGS YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR RIVER WORKSHOPS - Jun 23, 2008
June12, 2008 - On June 17, RiverSides launched a new series of workshops titled “5 Things You Can Do For Your River” to raise public awareness on urban stormwater issues. They will be held throughout the summer in a variety of locations in the Greater Toronto Area.
The workshops are based on RiverSides’ core program 5 Things You Can Do For Your River and its website, the Toronto Homeowners’ Guide to Rainfall (www.riversides.org/rainguide). The goal of the workshops is to educate Toronto residents about the everyday impacts they have on our urban creeks, rivers and lakes, and to provide easy and practical actions individuals can take right in their backyards. This includes stopping stormwater runoff, naturalizing front and back yards, going toxic-free, conserving water and getting involved in the community.
“When it rains, pollutants from our lawns and driveways get picked up and carried by stormwater to our rivers and lakes. By taking some simple steps at home, we can help to protect our rivers”, says Justyna Braithwaite, Program Coordinator at RiverSides.
“Additionally, the City of Toronto passed a by-law in November requiring all Toronto homes to disconnect their downspouts from the storm sewer. Our workshops will help homeowners understand their options to manage the stormwater on their properties.”
Each of the ”5 Things You Can Do For Your River” workshops will feature two demonstrations on one of the five solutions suggested by RiverSides. “We want show to people that simple behavioural changes can make a difference and not only help to protect the environment but also to create beautiful and natural front and back yards”, says Braithwaite.
The first workshop titled “Stop Runoff” that took place on Tuesday, June 17 at the Fairbank Community Centre featured a talk about what homeowners can do to protect our rivers at home as well as two demonstrations. Toronto Water demonstrated the proper way to disconnect a downspout from the storm drain, and the North American Native Plant Society showed the audience how to create a natural rain garden for the end of a downspout.
The workshop series is funded by the City of Toronto’s Community Program for Stormwater Management (CPSWM) administered by Toronto and Region Conservation. Not-for-profit groups can apply for the CPSWM funding for projects that support the City's Wet Weather Flow Management Plan.
Additionally, a grant from the Helen McCrae Peacock Foundation, will give 50 participants in the workshops a $50 discount on the purchase of a 500L RiverSafe RainBarrel.
The next workshop will take place on July 23rd at Trinity -St. Paul United Church and will focus on naturalizing yards. Helen Mills from the Green Gardeners Community Collaborative will talk about the benefits of gardening with native species of plants and shrubs. Sarah Lamon from LEAF will talk about choosing and maintaining trees that can contribute to our urban forest.
For more information on the 5 Things Workshops visit RiverSides webpage: www.riversides.org or call 416.868.1983
Workshop webpage: http://www.riversides.org/index.php?cat=3&page1=58
Press Release: Toronto's Voluntary Downspout Disconnection Program ends today - Nov 21, 2007
Toronto - November 21, 2007 - The City’s Voluntary Downspout Disconnection Program ends today, as City Council adopted a new, Mandatory Downspout Disconnection Program in its place. Applications received by Tuesday, November 20, 2007 will be eligible for the voluntary program. Any requests received after that will not be eligible.
Prior to this month, the voluntary program had limited participation; approximately 2,300 disconnections were completed yearly. “Had we continued with the program in its current form it would have taken more than 20 years to achieve our target disconnection rate,” said Lou Di Gironimo, Toronto Water General Manager.
More than 50,000 residents have signed up over the past three weeks since the voluntary program was identified for closure at Public Works and Infrastructure Committee on October 31. Because of the influx of new applicants, it will take several years to work through the waiting list. City inspectors will start to contact residents to book the first assessment appointments in late 2008 and early 2009.
The new Mandatory Downspout Disconnection Program, which comes into effect Wednesday November 21, 2007, will initially target properties located in the city core that are served by combined sewers (stormwater and sewage combined into a single pipe). If feasible, homeowners in this core area will be required to disconnect their downspouts from the sewer system, within three years, at which time property owners could face fines. More information will be available in the coming days on the City’s website at www.toronto.ca/water.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.
Senior Communications Co-ordinator,
City of Toronto
Mandatory Downspout Disconnections for Toronto Homeowners - Nov 13, 2007
On October 31 this year, the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee approved a staff report (PDF) recommending mandatory downspout disconnetion for homeowners in Toronto. All downspouts are to be disconnected by 2009 at homeowner cost. Low income families will receive adequate assistance. The City will not be accepting further applications for its voluntary Downspout Disconnection Program after November 20, 2007.
For more information and media coverage view the following documents and articles:
City of Toronto Staff Report: www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2007/pw/bgrd/backgroundfile-7842.pdf
Public Works and Infrastructure Committee meeting minutes (October 31, 2007): http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2007/pw/minutes/2007-10-31-pw10-mn.pdf
Eye Magazine article (October 31,2007): http://www.eyeweekly.com/city/cityhall/article/9159
Toronto Star article (November 19, 2007): http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/277664
Clean Water Act, 2006, Declared In Force - Jul 3, 2007
On July 3, 2007, the Clean Water Act 2006 was declared in force along with the first six regulations: Service of Documents, Source Protection Areas and Regions, Time Limits, Miscellaneous, Terms of Reference, and Source Protection Committees. The documents have now been posted on e-laws and can be viewed on this link, Clean Water Act 2006.
Landscaper training on stormwater.
Thirsty City Walk & Workshop event on Saturday, September 26th
Greenest City launches a new rain harvesting system.
5 THINGS YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR RIVER WORKSHOPS
Mandatory Downspout Disconnection for Toronto Homeowners
RiverSides and the City of Welland Join Together in Water Conservation Program
The First Phase of Regulations under the Clean Water Act, 2006
Joint Pledge to Accelerate Cleanup of Great Lakes Hot Spots