Here at Conservation Halton, we’re transitioning our infrastructure and operations from grey to green—and this includes the spaces where we work.
In 2017, the Headquarters Landscape Master Plan was completed with the goal of refreshing the outdoor area at the main office to improve stormwater retention and rainwater management. Prior to enhancements, the property was 74 percent impervious, resulting in rainfall discharge into the creek across the road, which flows into Bronte Creek.
What is Low Impact Development?
Low impact development (LID) techniques are designed to treat runoff at the source, rather than at “end of pipe,” like a stormwater management pond. In extreme weather events, such as rain storms and spring floods, low impact development features will help to slow and reduce runoff to creeks and streams, and prevent flooding. Also, when water flows down paved roads, driveways, roofs and other hard surfaces, it can pick up chemicals, waste and bacteria. This contaminated runoff makes it way into storm drains and ditches, and then flows into our waterways, which can have an impact on drinking water, ecosystem health and wildlife habitat. LID features allow water to soak gradually into the earth through plants and soil-based filters, which helps to cleanse the water and absorb some of the chemicals, waste and bacteria before reaching downstream water sources.
This project, designed from 2019 to 2020 and constructed throughout summer and fall of 2022, transforms the front entrance of the Conservation Halton Headquarters with the following enhancements:
- Modernized landscape and rainwater management
- Two bioretention facilities
- One infiltration gallery to manage 1,891 m² of impervious drainage area
- Permeable paver pathway to manage 288 of m² drainage area
- 100 percent water quality volume treated for a 28mm event
- Specialized bioretention media (aka soil)
- Two accessible layby parking spaces and electric vehicle hook-up
- Upgraded staff outdoor space and privacy screens
- Electric vehicle charging station
This project is designed to underscore the critical role of managing stormwater at its source, and turns the Conservation Halton Headquarters into a demonstration site for sustainable landscape design, management and technology, so developers, municipalities and landowners can learn more about low impact development and its benefits, including:
- Reducing downstream erosion during storm events
- Improving water quality and filtering out pollutants
- Increasing water infiltration to prevent flooding
- Strengthening resilience to climate change impacts
- Protecting, preserving and supporting biodiversity
- Engaging with the community about green infrastructure
This project contributes to the following priorities: “Science, Conservation, and Restoration,” “Natural Hazards and Water” and “Organizational Sustainability” within the Conservation Halton Strategic Plan, Momentum.
The project was is permitted through the Niagara Escarpment Commission and City of Burlington.
You can help mitigate runoff in your community by using some of these low impact development techniques on your property:
- Install a rain garden containing flood and drought-tolerant plant
- Redirect your downspout to a grassy or permeable area
- Attach rain barrels to the end of your downspouts to collect rainwater from your roof
- Incorporate permeable pavement that allows rain to infiltrate the ground
For more information about Low Impact Development, please visit these resources: