Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority

Rain garden workshops Bayfield

Rain garden workshops in Bayfield

Professionals, homeowners can attend rain garden workshops 

Ausable Bayfield Conservation hosts two workshops in Bayfield in March of 2017

People in Bayfield and area can learn about rain gardens and their construction at two local workshops in March of 2017. 

Ausable Bayfield Conservation is hosting two rain garden workshops in Bayfield. The first workshop is designed for landscape contractors and designers. It takes place on March 2, 2017. A rain garden workshop for homeowners takes place on March 25, 2017.

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Rain gardens are shallow, sunken gardens. They protect local water quality when they collect, absorb and filter water running off of land during storms. When it rains or when snow melts, water runs off roofs, patios and driveways. Rain gardens can prevent this water, along with contaminants the runoff picks up, from draining directly into a local storm sewer or nearby watercourses.

“Rain gardens provide benefits to water quality,” said Hope Brock, Healthy Watersheds Technician with Ausable Bayfield Conservation. “Rain gardens reduce flooding and erosion,” she said. “They can also add beauty to your yard and create habitat.”  

The first workshop, geared to landscape contractors and designers, is in Bayfield on Thursday, March 2, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Bayfield Arena and Community Centre. The registration fee is $100 and includes lunch. Event hosts invite landscape designers, contractors and other interested professionals to register for the March 2 workshop with Jeff Thompson at 519-748-4021 or

“It is important to provide local contractors with the knowledge and design considerations for rain gardens,” said Brock. “There is a growing awareness and need for rain gardens in southwestern Ontario,” she said. “Landscape professionals can fill this need in their community.”

The second workshop, for homeowners, is free. It takes place in Bayfield on Saturday, March 25, 2017 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Bayfield Town Hall. Homeowners will learn about design, construction, native plants, and a grant program. Homeowners who would like to install a rain garden on their property are eligible to apply for funding to help them thanks to support from the Bluewater Beach Committee (Municipality of Bluewater, Huron County Health Unit, Pioneer Park Association and Ausable Bayfield Conservation).

“We are excited to work with our partners to provide homeowners with some funding to complete these projects that help to improve beach water quality,” said Kyle Pratt, Chief Administrative Officer with Municipality of Bluewater.

Event hosts invite homeowners to register for the March 25 workshop with Hope Brock at 519-235-2610 or toll-free at 1-888-286-2610 or email Event planners ask people to register before March 17, 2017.

The two rain garden workshops are led by rain garden expert Jeff Thompson, of Thompson Environmental Planning and Design Ltd. Thompson has worked on stormwater management projects that range from in size from residential backyards to a two-hectare system at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport to treat runoff from de-icing operations.

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