Ready for Rain Peterborough

Partner Logo - rain-ready-1

Do you ever worry about flooding when it rains? Interested in techniques to reduce rainwater runoff? This is the program for you!

GreenUP, in partnership with Green Communities Canada, City of Peterborough, the citizens living in the Avenues neighbourhood of Peterborough, are planning to install eight rain gardens with generous funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation!

There are a number of ways you can become involved in the project including participating in the open forum event this coming September 29th. You can also head over to our community mapping page and provide your input for the locations of new stormwater infrastructure in Peterborough; simply add a drop pin on the map where you have seen flooding in your neighbourhood and/or add your comments about water in your neighbourhood.
Book List – Peterborough Public Library Resource List for Water Friendly Landscaping and Gardening


What is a rain garden?
A rain garden is a beautiful and unique piece of infrastructure that is used to capture and slowly dissipate rainwater from storm events into the ground. Generally they are populated with hardy drought tolerant species that require minimal maintenance. Rain gardens can come in many different forms, allowing them to be adapted for any need or situation.

Why use rain gardens?
Rain gardens can be a useful tool for managing urban runoff. Stormwater carries water from yards, streets, parking lots, and rooftops and often deposits them directly into local rivers and creeks. By creating rain gardens we can improve local water quality, decrease flooding, improve groundwater recharge and improve local habitat.

What makes a rain garden different from regular gardens?
Rain gardens are bowl or saucer shaped and designed to capture water from the surrounding landscape. It’s not just a typical garden though – they are designed with deep loosely packed soil and gravel specifically designed to maximise the amount of water that can be captured and stored within the garden. They can also assist in solving wet-spot problems where water is already collecting.

Are rain gardens breeding areas for mosquitoes?
Rain gardens are designed to rapidly capture and dissipate water from storm events. While mosquitoes require a number of days to reproduce, a rain garden will not maintain proper conditions for mosquito breeding. Traditional storm water infrastructure such as storm water ponds, or clogged eavestroughs are actually more likely culprits for mosquito breeding areas.

Do rain gardens require much maintenance?
Initially, a rain garden may require some watering. Rain gardens take advantage of the wide range of conditions that native plants are able to survive in. With deep root structures they can survive extremely dry conditions. The majority of maintenance comes in the form of removing some debris following very large storm events.

How big does a rain garden need to be?
Rain gardens come in many different shapes and sizes. They should be designed to capture any water that flows into them within a 24 hour period. Any water that is captured and remains on site following a storm will have a positive impact on our local water bodies.


Program Launch:
Join us for our program launch at 11am on Tuesday August 16th at Peterborough City Hall. If you are unable to attend the event, you won’t miss out on the fun! Over the course of the following week we will be holding an exciting educational scavenger hunt throughout the avenues with prizes for participants. Stay tuned for more details!

Community Forum:
Join us for our community forum on September 29th from 6:30 – 9:00pm at the Prince of Wales Public School Auditorium. We will be discussing rain gardens, water issues and flooding in the avenues, sharing knowledge and introducing the rain garden program to the community.

Get Involved

It doesn’t stop at the site selection! We will be needing volunteers to maintain some of the infrastructure and make sure that the gardens are kept clean and are working effectively. If you are able to be an ambassador for the program, or are interested in keeping an eye on one of the community gardens let us know and we would love to have you as part of the team!

Become a garden host:
Email Heather Ray, GreenUP Water Program Manager at for more information.

Community Map