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Rain-ready yards for

stormwater management
the field tripper header
Red osier dogwood loves moist soils
Red Osier Dogwood
Choose red osier dogwood for its moisture-loving roots and its year-round beauty. This hardy, medium-sized shrub is a favourite for managing stormwater. Tolerant of drought and a variety of soil conditions, it grows best in moist, well-drained soils in full or part sun. It offers subtle beauty through spring and summer, but by fall and winter, it really starts to shine.

Watch as this quick-growing shrub creates a mass of upright red stems two to three metres tall and just as wide. Small clusters of white flowers appear in late spring atop branches lined with pairs of dark green leaves. They provide bees and butterflies an abundant supply of nectar and pollen. They also support 129 different caterpillar species including the spring azure butterfly and polyphemus moth. By late summer, the flowers develop into clusters of white berries, offering migrating birds a tasty feast.

At summer’s end, leaves turn from green to orange and red. They settle into deep purple before falling. Bright red stems are revealed, creating dazzling winter contrast. The dense stems will also provide shelter for birds looking for protection, nesting sites or somewhere to get away from a cold winter wind.

The best colour comes from young stems. Prune 20-25 per cent of old stems in spring to help stimulate new growth for great colour the following winter. The young red stems can also be used for winter décor and basket weaving.

Add red-osier dogwood to your rain garden or bordering a soakaway. Plant in front of an evergreen such as balsam fir to help the red colour pop. Or mix with other rain garden favorites like white turtlehead, great blue lobelia and cardinal flower. Red osier dogwood is also compaction and juglone tolerant, making it a great option for high-trafficked areas or near black walnut trees.
Unclog downspouts to let rain drain
Quick Tips for Rain-Ready Yards
Here are four quick tips to help you prepare for fall rain and spring snowmelt on your property.
  1. Unclog eavestroughs and downspouts.
  2. Disconnect rain barrels from downspouts and add a temporary downspout extension for the winter.
  3. Plan and prepare a rain garden now for planting in the spring. 
  4. Plant a native tree. Their roots absorb and filter water and their leaves spread and slow rainfall.
Bonus Tip! Rainwater run-off can wash pollutants from your yard into our storm sewers. Routinely pick up pet waste, use compost instead of fertilizer and reduce the use of rock salt on driveways and walkways this winter to help keep our lakes and rivers clean.
Rain gardens are beautiful and practical
Ready for Rain
Rainy days are typical for fall. But with climate change we can expect more rain more often. Extreme rainstorms can overwhelm our aging storm sewer system and lead to urban flooding. Local governments have been building solutions to reduce flood risk. By making a few simple changes to your home landscape, you can help protect your property against ponding and flooding too.
Rain that falls on hard surfaces, like sidewalks, driveways and rooftops, often flows down our streets into storm sewers that drain into Lake Ontario. Rapid urban development has increased the amount of hard surfaces in our communities. This means more rain is directed into a storm sewer system not designed for such high volumes of run-off.

Residents in Mississauga and Brampton pay a stormwater fee as part of their monthly water bill. The funds are used to maintain, upgrade and build stormwater infrastructure like pipes, catch basins and storm ponds. Municipalities are also exploring green infrastructure solutions, like green roofs and bioswales, which rely on or mimic nature to manage stormwater.

In your own yard, the best way to manage rain and snow melt is to let it to soak into the ground. One of the easiest ways to do this is to disconnect your downspout from the storm sewer system. Redirect your downspout toward a rain gardensoakaway or naturalized area. Consider installing permeable paving in your driveway or walkways so water can filter into the ground.
To learn more about what you can do on your own property, visit your municipality's stormwater website or see our rainscaping resources.
Keep Fletchers Creek Clean
A beautiful soakaway. Photo: TRCA.

Last chance to register!


Free webinar
Tues., Oct. 6, 7-8:30  p.m. 

Residents of Brampton's Fletchers Creek SNAP neighbourhood are invited to attend a free rainscaping webinar.

Join CVC's Melanie Kramer for an informative webinar on how you can use colourful native plants to absorb and capture rainwater to protect your property and keep Fletchers Creek clean.

Discover how beautiful rain gardens, soakaways and rain chains can collect and direct rain water and brighten your community.

Register today.
At Credit Valley Conservation, we create connections between people and nature, knowledge and action. We lead the protection, restoration and enhancement of our local natural environment, and we inspire a deep appreciation for the role of nature in keeping us connected, healthy and happy.
Copyright © 2020 Credit Valley Conservation, All rights reserved.

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