Sept. 1

Water garden highlights green planning at new Fisherman’s Wharf Park

City's largest rain garden and new park to open Oct. 2

Victoria’s city planners are unveiling an innovative way to deal with anticipated wetter winters and drier summers in the coming years.

A new park at Fisherman’s Wharf, expected to open Oct. 2, features a rain garden — a stream-like gully full of shrubs that captures rainwater runoff from the surrounding area and cleans it before draining to the nearby ocean.

“This rain garden allows nature to do its job,” said Roy Brooke, Victoria’s director of sustainability.

“Any toxins like lead, copper or zinc will get absorbed by the plants in the rain garden, and will help keep the Inner Harbour cleaner for all of us.”

The new park includes sitting areas, green space and a walking bridge over the rain garden.

Small hills were created to avoid the unnecessary expense and impact of shipping tonnes of soil out of town, said parks manager Doug DeMarzo.

“The cement wall (surrounding the rain garden) actually represents the footprint of the old harbour as well,” DeMarzo said of the $650,000 renovation that began in April.

Rain gardens already exist in several public and private areas of the city including Trent Street, Oswald Park and The Atrium.

But Fisherman’s Wharf park’s 352-square-metre garden is the largest to date, collecting grey water from more than 14,000 square metres in the surrounding area.

“We’ll definitely be seeing more,” Brooke said, adding the city is planning to create a storm water utility in 2014 that will provide incentives to developers to include rain gardens in their plans.

While residents initially called for a running stream in the park, engineers determined it was not worth disturbing the contaminated soil at a deeper depth, DeMarzo said.

Howard Markson, a nearby St. Lawrence Street resident, said the park renovation is a deluxe improvement on the previous field.

“It’s got an environmental payoff, too,” Markson said. “I think it’s beautiful. I love it.”

The grand opening will take place Oct. 2 from 11 a.m. to noon.

dpalmer@vicnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke Crisis Centre closes doors

Services previously offered to be dispersed throughout community support groups

B.C. residents can go to the Royal BC Museum for half price all summer

Museum reopening in phases, COVID-19 measures in place

Accident on Sooke Road slows traffic in both directions

According to Drive BC, it is unknown when site will be cleared

West Shore RCMP arrests five suspects in multi-jurisdictional drug trafficking investigation

Cocaine, prohibited loaded handgun, weapons, stolen vehicles seized

VIDEO: Victoria’s Raging Grannies call for end to public funding of for-profit senior homes

Organizer says COVID-19 has made senior home issues more apparent

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

RCMP disarm man experiencing mental health crisis

The male pulled a knife on officers and then held it to his own throat expressing a desire to die

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Most Read