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New Rain Garden will filter out pollutants from reaching Manuels River

By Craig Westcott/October 7, 2021

New CBS Mayor Darrin Bent cut his first ribbon on Monday as the Town unveiled a ‘Rain Garden’ on the banks of Manuels River.

The garden will act as a sponge for pollutants washing off the Manuels Access Road to prevent them from seeping into the river. Installation of the garden was helped along with a $25,000 Green Spaces grant from TD Canada Trust. The funds were also used as part of a Town initiative to increase the number of trees in CBS.

The Town worked with a number of groups and local business on the two projects, including the Manuels River Centre, the Conservation Corps, the CBS Community Garden Association, Handyman Home Hardware and Hickey’s Greenhouses. Bent was joined at the ribbon cutting by members of the new council as well as Topsail-Paradise MHA Paul Dinn and representatives of the groups involved in the projects.

“This is a fantastic initiative sponsored by the TD Bank Group,” said the mayor. “The Town of Conception Bay South along with its partners worked to come up with two great programs to use that $25,000, not only to help our town as a whole, but to help residents individually with their properties to become more sustainable.”

Bent said the Urban Forest Project saw the Town offer some 430 trees to property owners from Seal Cove to Topsail. A GPS map has been compiled where citizens can see where the trees are located. The Town bought the trees from Handyman Home Hardware and Hickey’s Greenhouses.

“Residents were able to get the trees free of charge, and they weren’t seedlings, they were actually two gallon trees,” Bent noted. “Some of them were actually 50, 60 and 70 cms high when they picked them up.”

Bent also praised the utility of the rain garden, adding that signage is coming that will explain its purpose and offer a guide to anyone who would like to install one on their own property. 

One of the reasons the Town focused on these two projects, he added, is that they offered a chance for residents to become involved in similar projects, which will make CBS more sustainable in the long run.

“So, it’s great to be here to set this initiative off and to see this money actually at work,” Bent said. “The Rain Garden acts as a giant sponge so when that rainwater comes off the road, the Rain Garden will soak up the pollutants. And the way it’s designed with the plants and the elements they’ve put underneath it, it will hold the pollutants and allow the good groundwater to wash back out into the river, so it’s great for the river. You can imagine how something like that would benefit your own home when the waters come down and even in heavier flooding times. It can actually soak that water up so that it doesn’t lie on your property.”

MHA Dinn praised the efforts of everyone involved.

“I’m always impressed when I come up here and see what’s being done in terms of the environment and eco-friendly projects,” said Dinn. “It’s fabulous stuff and we’re going to need more of it. So, keep doing what you’re doing.”

Janet Rumsey of the Manuels River Centre explained how the foundation worked with the town to see the rain garden realized.

“Our team scouted out the location and got it all prepared in the spring and then over the summer the Green Team worked to install it,” said Rumsey. “Our team also put together the interpretative panels, which will help people understand what the garden is and how it works.”

The panels will be installed later this month. 

“This will give us another stop along our trails as we continue to offer our tourism packages,” Rumsey said. “It’s been a great opportunity for us at Manuels River to help people in CBS understand exactly how they can get involved and understand the green infrastructure and some options that they have available so that they can adapt and work within their own properties if they are interested in installing these at home so their properties can become more resilient with respect to climate change.”

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