People come to live in the Lake Wilcox area to be close to nature. The Residential Eco-Landscaping program helps residents “embrace nature in the community” by taking action at home.
Residential Eco-landscaping is about creating beautiful, modern and easy-to-maintain gardens by using native plants that have low water and low fertilizer requirements, and incorporating features designed to absorb stormwater.
Eco-landscaping can significantly increase property values, while saving on maintenance.
In addition to minimizing a home’s adverse impacts on local lakes, wetlands and forests, eco-landscaping can provide habitat for wildlife, birds and butterflies, along with other benefits such as cleaner air and water.
Eco-landscaping practices include:
- Planting native, water-efficient trees, shrubs and plants.
- Using high-capacity rain barrels and rain harvesting practices.
- Installing rain gardens, soakaways and permeable paving (where conditions allow).
- Implementing phosphorus management best practices (such as replacing chemical fertilizers with compost, properly disposing of pet waste, reducing use of car-washing detergents, composting lawn and garden waste, avoiding soil erosion, and reducing use of winter de-icers)
Eco-Landscaping: Sources of Inspiration
Interested in trying your hand at an eco-landscaping project? Check out the following inspirational designs, provided by Cypress Hill Landscape Design & Build.
(Click on the images to view the designs full-size.)
Songbird Garden: LEARN MORE
Benefits of Eco-Landscaping
Adopting eco-landscaping practices are good for both your health and your household budget. But that’s just the start. Other benefits include:
- Increases overall property value.
- Requires less energy, water and maintenance than a conventional lawn, saving you time and money.
- Improves air quality around your home by increasing oxygen production, while absorbing harmful air pollutants.
- Reduces your energy costs by providing summer shading and winter windbreaks.
- Helps keep Lake Wilcox and the surrounding natural areas healthy and beautiful for all of us to enjoy.
Eco-landscaping also works to the betterment of the local environment.
The Lake Wilcox neighbourhood is rich with kettle lakes, wetlands and forest ecosystems — all of which are under increasing pressure as the community grows. Eco-landscapes can minimize a home’s adverse impacts on the health of these natural areas.
Other natural benefits include:
- Provides habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife within the urbanized parts of the neighbourhood.
- Creates more linkages for movement between natural corridors which helps maintain the quality of existing natural habitats.
- Absorbs more water than a grassed area during a rainstorm, reducing the amount of runoff and pollutants carried to streams and lakes.
- Requires less fertilizer which helps keep excess nutrients like phosphorus out of Lake Wilcox.
What’s So Important About This?
The goal of the Lake Wilcox SNAP Residential Eco-landscaping program is to increase homeowner adoption of these practices in order to cut outdoor tap water use, expand the urban forest, increase native biodiversity and reduce phosphorus loading to Lake Wilcox.
Lake Wilcox SNAP has identified the following eco-landscaping goals and targets:
- Expand the urban forest from 27% to 35% through residential eco-landscaping of a portion of all front and rear yards. In the short term, double tree cover in residential areas by eco-landscaping 55% of residential lots.
- Reduce stormwater runoff and improve water quality (40-50% phosphorus removal) through adoption of eco-landscaping on 46% of residential lots in priority areas – i.e., those not served by stormwater ponds and where soil and groundwater conditions are appropriate for stormwater infiltration.
- Conserve water by reducing outdoor tap water use through rain harvesting and replacement of water-intensive lawns and gardens with water-efficient plantings.
Baseline conditions have been established as part of the Lake Wilcox SNAP studies, and monitoring plans are in place to track progress.
Your participation in eco-landscaping is critically important to help meet our neighbourhood goals!
Greening Your Grounds: A Homeowners Guide to Stormwater Landscaping Projects
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) has created this 55-page guide to help homeowners make the most of the rainwater that falls on their property. If you are a Lake Wilcox resident and would like a copy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Healthy Yards Resources
TRCA’s Healthy Yards Program is designed to help homeowners create naturally beautiful lawns and gardens. Program resources include:
- Naturescaping Information sheet
- Rain Gardens Information sheet
- Rain Water Harvesting Information sheet
Local Bylaws and Utility Locations
Residential Eco-landscaping projects in the Lake Wilcox SNAP neighbourhood must conform to the property standards bylaws of the Town of Richmond Hill, and must be constructed in safe locations, away from utilities and other services. Get more information HERE.
- Cypress Hill Landscape Design & Build
- Genus Loci Ecological Landscapes Inc.
- Kampen’s Landscape Maintenance Ltd.
- Ontario Flora
- Less Mess Enviro Bag
- Miller Compost
- Oak Hill Garden Centre
- Oakridges Home Hardware
- Sheridan Nurseries