Clean and Green: rain gardening


Good day again,

What was I thinking about? I remember. First Nations and First Immigrants. Giving thanks and remembering. I hope it has been a good month for you – the changing colours of the trees, cooler weather, elections. I hope you voted. It is a privilege and a power we Canadians appreciate here. You can help create positive changes. We have other traditions here that involve Thanksgiving and Remembering. The second Monday in October is a day when we recognize and appreciate the fact many First Nations people saved many new immigrants from starvation, not so many years ago. We gather with family/ friends/neighbours for dinners, sharing and time together. To remember… and to give thanks.

I met an Ojibway man here in the village the other day. He is an arborist, someone who cares for and deals with trees. He was removing a large tree blocking building improvements at a local public housing complex. We talked about many things.

He said the Huron people lived mostly in this area, before strangers came and disrupted 500 years of First Nations peace…now there are few Huron left. Many of those Huron saved immigrant lives with their farming and nature stewardship knowledge. And generosity.

This young fellow was kind enough to slice six large slabs of the tree he had removed for me…a stranger. He named his tree services company “AMIK” which is beaver in Ojibway language. He is hard working and knowledgeable about trees like a beaver, our national symbol for us as Canadians. We talked about the invasion of Emerald Ash Borers and Asian Long Horned Beetles. They are killing off our trees and the city needs our help to remove or treat diseased trees on private properties and business lands.

The TRCA, Parks, Forestry and Recreation departments are now doing this in our green spaces and the Humber River Valley. They work with people like AMIK to get the job done efficiently for all our benefits. Thank you! Miigwetch!

I was at a wedding on the weekend. It was on the sandy beach on the shore of Lake Simcoe. A beautiful day blessed the bride and groom, all of us there. Sunshine, colorful trees swaying in a breeze, lots of good food, fun and conversations. I saw a Rain Garden there that was amazing. All of the rain from the roof of a large building flowed down a piece of sculptured metal with salmon swimming upriver. The rain then enters a stone shaped garden where it soaks safely into the ground nurturing the plants, trees and flowers. There is a picnic table with details about the garden as its top. Remarkable!

One of the problems we face in a city is dealing with our rainwater wisely. There is a mandatory (must do) order from the city to redirect our downspouts to prevent flooding and overload in our water treatment systems and rivers. It is not difficult to do, and it is important! Seniors may be able to save the cost to hire someone to do it, if they have no one to help them. The city forms are simple and there are people who can help. If you have a desire for a Rain Garden, Most landscapers can help you there. Rain barrels are available, as are Rain Drains and downspout extensions at our local hardware stores Home Depot, Canadian Tire and Home Building Centre. Any questions?

Call 311.