RAIN reaches out to sustainable communities

RAIN reaches out to sustainable communities

This February, RAIN Community Solutions hopped on the train to head to London.

RAIN Community Solutions booth at FCM

Speaker Sharmalene Mendis-Millard of Elora Environment Centre, with Clara Blakelock, Sharyn Inward, and Clifford Maynes of Green Communities Canada

The Federation of  Canadian Municipalities Sustainable Communities Conference, held from February 10-12,  was the perfect opportunity to reach out to our key audience – Canadian municipalities who are struggling with flooding and water quality issues and are looking for solutions.

We sponsored a session at the conference, entitled Green Stormwater Infrastructure: save money, reduce flood risk, and protect our water.

Clifford Maynes, Executive Director of Green Communties Canada, moderated the session and introduced RAIN community solutions to the attendees.

The first speaker, Christine Zimmer of the Credit Valley Conservation Authority (CVC), started off highlighting the negative effects of urbanization on the Credit River watershed, which are not mitigated by conventional grey stormwater infrastructure.  Luckily, the low impact development (LID) projects that have been implemented by CVC have been performing beyond expectations, for flood risk reduction and for water quality improvements, and the watershed is projected to become much healthier if these technologies are adopted. The City of Mississauga has recently passed a resolution which requires the consideration of LID in every road retrofit project.

Next, Sheila Boudreau of the City of Toronto spoke about the Green Streets project, and how stormwater features can and should be integrated into the fabric of Complete Streets. She described how she is working with various departments within the City to get green infrastructure projects into the ground. The City of Toronto is now developing Green Streets technical guidelines.

Sharmalene Mendis-Millard, formerly of REEP Green Solutions and now RAIN program manager at the Elora Environment Centre, spoke about the RAIN activities in Kitchener and Waterloo:  intensive community engagement including demonstration projects, workshops, community presentations, RAIN home visits, and contractor trainings. Now Sharmalene is in talks with the City of Guelph to bring RAIN’s slow it down, soak it up, and keep it clean messages to a new community.

We had great feedback on the session and had dozens of valuable conversations with people who came by our booth. We are excited to see what collaborations will result from this event.

Thanks to the Peterborough Community Futures Development Corporation and other funders for making our booth and session at this conference possible.

Download presentation decks from the session: