Living Cities Green Infrastructure (GI) Projects

Introduction to the Program

Approximately 73% of Canadians reside in urban areas, a number that continues to grow. Simultaneously, the adverse effects of climate change are increasingly impacting our daily lives in cities. There’s much we can do at the local level to enhance urban resilience, and many are eager to contribute.

Peterborough is one of 28 communities across seven provinces participating in Green Communities Canada’s Living Cities Canada Fund projects in 2024. Through this initiative, we aim to advance community-led, equity-focused green infrastructure projects where they are most needed.

The projects supported by the Living Cities Canada Fund will help communities like Peterborough become more resilient, vibrant, and healthy. These projects aim to reduce the urban heat island effect, improve stormwater management, mitigate flood risks, enhance local air quality, and support the physical and mental well-being of residents.

If you’re interested in learning more about the climate impacts affecting vulnerable communities locally and nationally, you might find these maps insightful: Healthy Plan.City.

The Benefits of Green Infrastructure

Images above courtesy of Green Communities Canada.

2024 Current Projects

School Yard Greening Project at Keith Wightman Public School

In collaboration with Keith Wightman Public School and the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, we are working with students and staff to design a planting project that will transform 150m² of yard space. The school community is particularly interested in planting shade trees and using plants strategically to enhance play opportunities and biodiversity while improving soil quality for future generations. Preparatory work will take place over the summer, with planting days scheduled for early October 2024. Ideas include willow tunnels, a native grass maze, trees for a shady grove, and a Little Forest.

Students at Keith Wightman PS discuss what types of activities they would like to participate in at school, if there were facilities in the yard to provide those opportunities. The planting project will help address some of these needs.

Students at Keith Wightman PS discuss various design options and weigh in on which green infrastructure features they are most interested in.

Stormwater Management and Edible Infrastructure with One City at Trinity Centre

In partnership with One City, we are collaborating with program guests to design a planting project slated for fall 2024. Ideas shared by the guests include rain gardens, fruit trees, pollinator gardens, and seating areas. Project work will commence in August, with the majority of planting happening in late September 2024.

Many guests at One City offered a lot of helpful insight on what type of planting project would improve the outdoor space at Trinity Center and Emmett let us take a nice portrait of him and his dog.

Little Forest at Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School

In partnership with Thomas A. Stewart Secondary School and the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, we will transform a 100m² patch of non-native Kentucky Bluegrass into a dense biodiversity pocket by planting a Little Forest. Soil preparation took place on June 13th, involving over 25 students and staff who moved 13 yards of compost and 13 yards of mulch to enrich the soil. Tree planting is planned for fall 2024.

Students at TASS get ready to move compost and mulch onto sheets of cardboard that have been laid out over the planting area. This process is called sheet mulching and will help create a healthy bed of soil in which to plant the trees in the fall.

Everyone pitched in and the sheet mulching work at TASS on June 13, 2024 was completed in record time! As one of the teachers mentioned in his opening remarks, the work the students are doing today is for future generations.

Help Support This Work!

It takes a village to make good things happen. One of the best parts of projects like these is how they build community. They bring people together through shared work and vision, creating lasting memories, friendships, and a connection to place. We invite you to get involved!

Volunteer for Site Preparation and Planting

If you’re interested in donning work gloves and picking up a shovel to help us prepare the sites and plant, please contact Laura to join the Living Cities volunteer contact list. We also have volunteer roles for photographers, greeters, and general helpers.

Volunteer for Ongoing Maintenance

Like with children, the first three years of life are crucial for establishing a solid foundation for healthy growth. Planting is only the first step. We need community volunteers to nurture the plants through their first three years. If you’re interested in being part of a Living Cities stewardship team, please contact Laura. Team members will work together to check on the plants, water them during dry spells, and perform spring and fall maintenance like weeding and mulching.

Sponsorship or Donations

If you are able to contribute to the project through in-kind offerings of professional landscaping services (design or install), or donations like compost, mulch, plants, and fencing materials, we welcome your support. We also appreciate donations of food and drinks for volunteer appreciation on installation days. Please contact Laura to discuss arrangements.

Charitable Donations

If you are in a position to make a charitable donation, it will help us bring the project vision to life for each community. Your financial contributions are tax deductible and will directly support the planting and first-year maintenance of these green spaces.

Donate on Canada Helps.

 

 

Thank you for helping to make these projects a success! We can’t do this work without you!

Funders

These projects are supported by the Living Cities Canada Fund of Green Communities Canada.

Green Communities Canada

Living Cities

Related Programs

Edible Infrastructure

Little Forest Kits

Rain Garden Subsidy Program