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Rain gardens coming to Ajax waterfront

Ajax News Advertiser

AJAX — Three rain gardens along the waterfront will filter runoff water before it’s recharged into the ground.

The gardens are going to be installed in the fall, with one of the gardens at the foot of Anstead Crescent between a walking trail and Lake Driveway West. The other two will be on either side of the same trail next to a parking lot at the foot of Clover Ridge Drive West.

Chris Denich, a consultant with Aquafor Beech Ltd., told Ajax council’s general government committee that the gardens will improve water quality and add beauty to the waterfront.

“It’s a planted garden, much like a garden you would plant,” Mr. Denich said. “They’re highly engineered.”

As the water filters through the gardens, phosphorous in rain water will be removed, he noted.

Other benefits of water going through the gardens is it will be cooled, cleaned and infiltrate the runoff, he added.

Sean James, president of Fern Ridge Landscaping and Eco-Consulting, said different species and textures will be throughout the gardens, adding no trees will be planted near them.

“We’ll focus on perennials and shrubbery. There are no trees to maintain,” Mr. Denich said.

By not planting trees, the sightlines from the street to the lake will be maintained, he added.

“There will even be roses in the gardens. They will be beautiful all the time,” Mr. James said. “Everyone should have a reason to love the gardens. They’ll be filled with birds and butterflies.”

Mr. James said the gardens will bloom from mid-April to October.

“There will be spectacular blooms all summer.”
 Kevin Tryon, manager of engineering, development services for Ajax, said the designs are about three-quarters complete.

“A very specific skill set is needed to install these,” Mr. Tryon added.

Each garden is about one-metre deep, with materials that will filter out pollutants, and a channel for the water to flow to the gardens.

The tender contract will be awarded in June or July, with the work slated to be done in the fall, Mr. Tryon said.

The gardens are set back from the road, so snow clearing won’t affect them, Mr. Denich said.

“We have the ability to close the facilities in the winter for salt issues,” he added.

There’s a small gate that will prevent melting snow, with salt, from getting in the gardens, Mr. Denich noted.

The gardens will cost about $375,000 to install.