Umbrella Stormwater Bulletin #33 | 16 Sep 15 Published by Green Communities Canada

Urban trees help manage stormwater

There’s no question – urban trees provide value to cities.  A report from TD economics quantified Toronto’s tree benefits at more than $81 million – with 66% of this value coming from trees’ role in managing stormwater.

But each tree is different in its ability to manage rainfall. Healthy, mature trees provide the most benefits  â€“  and unfortunately many trees in urban areas never make it to this stage. Though the lifespan of urban trees is quite variable (average lifespan of downtown urban trees has been cited at 7, 13, or between 19 and 28 years) many trees that do survive are hampered by hostile growing environments, and never reach their full potential.

On 7 October from 1-2 pm Eastern, join urban tree expert Peter MacDonagh of the Kestrel Design Group for a webinar on how municipalities can get the most out of their trees for stormwater management.  Peter will present his ground breaking work in policy development, research quantifying tree stormwater benefits, and techniques for maximizing tree stormwater benefits.

This webinar is presented by RAIN Community Solutions in partnership with LEAF – Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests and the Green Infrastructure Ontario CoalitionRead a full abstract and presenter bio.

[Read more about strategies for urban tree health....]
Register for the webinar
[POLL] Does your municipality have policies that support a healthy urban forest?

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Latest news

Island innovation. Another pilot study is showing the potential of floating treatment wetlands as a method for removing contaminants from stormwater retention ponds.

Inadequacies of municipal infrastructure. Golf ball-sized hail, flooding and the aroma of sewage wafting through city streets support the claims of a leading meteorologist that Canadian municipalities are not prepared to deal with a new climate that fluctuates between drought and downpour.

Protecting trees in the face of climate change.  The City of Vancouver is examining the impact of soil volume on urban tree health after a severe rain and wind storm damaged hundreds of urban trees. Trees with modular cell systems fared better than other trees that had been weakened during the drought that preceded the storm.

Holistic water management. 6 steps to better water management for construction projects.

Making space for play and rain. Depave Paradise is pulling up asphalt by hand to create a few more green spaces to absorb stormwater and provide places for kids to play. Other events are scheduled to take place in the next few weeks in Montreal, Peterborough, and Kingston.

Get off the lawn. The largest crop in the United States is grass. A well manicured lawn requires ~900L of water per day. With North America facing ongoing droughtslandscaping with low maintenance native vegetation is a smarter option.

Useful resources

RAIN Events Calendar. See our calendar of upcoming green infrastructure training, webinars and conferences.

Institutionalizing urban governance of climate change adaptation. A paper discussing the engagement of municipal environmental and planning agencies in adaptation planning. Findings are water agencies are at the margins of urban adaptation efforts, and the most effective tactics for mainstream engagement are those that build on collaborative networks.

Stormwater Management in Your Backyard: Rain Garden Outreach Manual. Written for community outreach coordinators, this manual focuses on how to facilitate programs about rain gardens and their role in stormwater management.

Green Infrastructure Implementation. This is a collection of program and planning topics about the implementation of green infrastructure. It covers a range of issues including education and implementation considerations. This manual can be purchased online through Water Environment Federation.


Preparing Toronto for an Extreme Weather Future.  Public Event. 24 September. Toronto, Ontario. Registration and details online. Hosted by City of Toronto, Environment and Energy Division.

TRCA Living Cities LID Workshops. 28-30 September. Woodbridge, ON. The Living City Campus is offering three events in the fall: Design of infiltration practices workshop, LID construction, inspection and maintenance training, and an LID site tour. Rebates available for contractors wishing to attend.

Green Building Festival: Building Resilient Communities. 1 October. Toronto, Ontario. Registration and details online. Hosted by Sustainable Buildings Ontario.

Winter Weather O&M for Green Infrastructure. 6 October. Webinar. Registration and details available in late September. Hosted by USEPA. Free.

Using Trees for Stormwater Management. 7 October, 1-2pm EDT. Webinar. Registration and details online. Hosted by RAIN Community Solutions.

Advancing Integrated Water Management. 14 October, 11am EDT. Webinar. Registration and details online. Hosted by Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative.

The Umbrella Stormwater Bulletin is a free, biweekly newsletter on green stormwater infrastructure published by the RAIN Community Solutions program of Green Communities Canada. Our audience is made up of municipal stormwater professionals, policymakers, academics, engineers, conservation authorities, nonprofits, and interested community members. We encourage submissions from our readers. Please contact the editor to submit a news item, blog idea, or event. RAIN Community Solutions builds support for and participation in stormwater innovations that reduce runoff by managing rain where it falls.

Copyright © 2015 Green Communities Canada, All rights reserved.


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