It turns out that the North End makes an interesting study of green habits.  So, this year Candy Venning and I developed a “Jane’s Walk” that showcases green infrastructure in an urban setting.  We can’t see everything, but we can see a lot in our short walk from the Victory Gardens near the top of the Mary Street bridge through part of the neighbourhood (about 2 km) to end up at the Sunset Garden, a beautiful pollinator garden at the corner of Bay and Strachan.

We will look at and discuss the importance of trees to the city.  The North End is unfortunately losing some of its OLD tree stock, so we will look at both old trees and younger ones and discuss the Trees Please project. The green space by the tracks, where the Perimeter Road was planned, has examples of both old and new trees.

Mary Street is home to a Real Time Control building. You might have seen it and wondered what it is!  Not quite a house, but it sort of looks like one. This building has the controls for the underground “dams” in the Combined Sewer overflow system.  It works in real time to keep untreated water out of the bay.  .

On our walk we will look for examples in the neighbourhood of “Low Impact Storm Water Management”. Recently, New Horizons partnered with Green Venture and took out the asphalt in front of their store and put in permeable parking – also reported in the Breezes!  Grade 5’s at Bennetto planted a natural rain garden. Residents are installing rain barrels and disconnecting downspouts.  St. Lawrence School has a beautiful naturalized section on their play ground! The health centre has a greenhouse. Thee is lots to see and discuss  such as swales (or where they could be!), green roofs, “soakaways”, permeable surfaces, filter strips, and rainwater harvesting.  Not to mention the wide variety of wonderful front yard gardens, and backyard and alley-way food gardens (some I call “mini-farms”!)

At a workshop sponsored by Environment Hamilton, I listened to Winston Wang from the City of Hamilton, speak about a small “water collection/rain garden” site at the corner of Bay and Simcoe, first in the City. Rain water runoff from the road is collected and directed into this small “garden/area” to be cleaned.  This also keeps most rain runoff from the sewer system and any cleaned water that is not absorbed, is directed into the system by a sub-drain.

Last is Sunset Garden, a small and beautiful pollinator garden full of native plants.  It may be too early to see the butterflies, but they were plentiful last year!

Please join us for the Walk (and talk) as we discuss small green efforts that, together, make a big green difference.

Title: Urban Greening for Hamilton’s Future

Noon both Friday and Saturday

Meeting Place: the Victory Garden’s behind Food Basics on Barton at Mary

Walk Leaders: Sheri Selway and Candy Venning, Landscape Designer