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

Just Posted

Large willow tree comes down in Beacon Hill Park

The tree has been in place for decades at Goodacre Lake

Attendance matters for Saanich Peninsula students

Achievement depends on attendance, hundreds of students heard

Saanich mayor begins living roof planting process

A garden will top Mayor Fred Haynes’ new home on Prospect Lake

Traffic slowed after reports of a pedestrian struck in Colwood

Incident occurred on Metchosin Road near Sooke Road intersection

Videos show allegedly intoxicated teens forcibly removed from Luxton Fairgrounds

Posts about altercations with security personnel in Langford swarming social media

WATCH: United Way #Drive4Five event launches campaign to raise $5 million

More than 80,000 lives changed last year by the United Way

Surrey mom allegedly paid $400,000 for son in U.S. college bribery scam

Xiaoning Sui, 48, was arrested in Spain on Monday night

Nanaimo RCMP officer ‘walks on water’ to rescue lost camper

66-year-old assisted earlier this month by Mounties who can seemingly work miracles

Boy overdosed on illicit anti-anxiety drug found on Kelowna classroom floor, RCMP say

Noah Mills, 8, ingested a pink powdery substance off his Kelowna classroom floor

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Largest driving factor is the province’s complex stumpage system that results in high fees, expert says

20 day search for missing Labradoodle in Princeton, B.C. ends with tears of joy

The search brought out bloodhounds, and groups hoping to find Mordy

Canucks sign Brock Boeser to three-year, US$17.6-million deal

Young sniper will be in Vancouver Tuesday

B.C. forest industry looks to a high-technology future

Restructuring similar to Europe 15 years ago, executive says

Most Read