Surface Runoff and Floods
The landscaping that is done in the backyards using impervious surfaces (e.g., concrete, asphalt, and brick) has drastically reduced the water absorbing capacity of soil. This has resulted in the increase in surface runoff. The research shows a great correlation between the surface off and floods. This year, we witnessed floods in Brampton and Manitoba and therefore we wanted to find a solution that is impactful and everyone in the community can help in reducing the runoff.
According to the article (Landmarks-Journal) we found out that “73% of the GTA had impervious surfaces” WHich means a large amount of surface runoff occurs. To collect data on how much of the student’s backyards are covered by impervious surfaces in our community, we did a schoolwide survey by creating a google form. The results were in favor for the environment as a majority of the responses had backyards covered more in grass rather than impervious surfaces. Still, 30% of people who answered have more area of their backyards covered in impervious surfaces such as concrete, brick and wood which is still a decent portion. We wanted to be proactive. Therefore, our team came up with an action plan to create a rain garden at school. We also thought of creating a visual representation on a slope to show all the layers that are in a rain garden to give the students a clear picture. We invited the classes to our outdoor classroom and educated them about the correlation between the surface runoff and floods and how planting a rain garden can be a simple yet an impactful solution. Further, we sent an email to Sarah Thompson, in charge of flood mitigation and prevention, to gain more insight on more perspectives related to our topic. We got a positive reply but, unfortunately due to certain unavoidable reasons our meeting couldn’t materialize. Going further, in order to spread awareness in the families, we presented our project and website that included all the information to the parent council and invited them to visit our rain garden as well . We got a lot of appreciation for our initiative from them. So as to reach all the students in our school, the website and posters were shared with the students through e-announcements as well.
Reflection & Celebration
We were really happy with the end results of our project as we got to spread awareness in our school community. It was evident in many ways, firstly we received many responses in the survey we sent schoolwide. We also had a high amount of participation in our outdoor class where we got to present and show students the rain garden we made in our school. The parent council meeting went well as everyone was really interested in what we were presenting.