Do you want to do something on your property to conserve, restore or enhance the watershed and environment?
Do you need technical assistance or financial resources to complete the project?
If so, consider the Clean Water-Healthy Land Financial Assistance Program. GRCA staff can offer environmental technical assistance, tools and information to any resident, business, school or service club within its jurisdiction. Sometimes a helping hand is all that is needed to implement an environmental project.
Financial assistance is available to those who reside, own property or operate within the Municipality of Clarington (within the GRCA), the Municipality of Port Hope, the Township of Hamilton, and the Town of Cobourg. For more information on financial assistance, view our fact sheet.
If you are looking for additional funding opportunities, provincial-wide funding opportunities may apply to your project idea. Many funding programs can be combined to give you even more cost savings.
Some of these programs include:
- Canadian Agricultural Partnership
- Species at Risk Financial Incentive Program
- 50 Million Tree Program - GRCA is a planting delivery agent
- Highway of Heroes Living Tree Campaign
To learn more about these or other funding opportunities, contact the Conservation Lands Coordinator.
Town of Cobourg Water Conservation Garden
Built in partnership with the Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority, Lakefront Utility Services Inc., the Town of Cobourg and the community, the Town of Cobourg Water Conservation Garden showcases and demonstrates techniques, products and plant materials that help to conserve water. All aspects of the garden can be easily incorporated into residential, commercial, or public setting.
So why focus a garden on water conservation? Because water is one of our most precious resources, and often taken for granted. The Town of Cobourg relies on treated water from Lake Ontario for drinking. In order to protect this important source of water, we must consider our everyday actions and how those actions affect water quality and quantity.
What's at the garden?
- Native Plants and Shrubs
More than a dozen native flowers, grasses and shrubs have been planted in the gardens. There are numerous benefits of native plants:
- drought tolerance
- pollinator friendly
- wildlife food source
- biodiversity enhancement
Remember, plants native to Ontario are better adapted to the local climate and soil conditions, and more resistant to disease and pests than highly bred, cultivated, and exotic species.
- Permeable Walkways
Two types of materials have been used to create permeable walkways through the garden. Permeable concrete is a product that has the durability of concrete but with environmental benefits due to its porous nature, making it a great alternative to traditional hard surfaces.
Ecogrid is a durable recycled plastic product that is laid over top of permeable soils. The grid can be filled with sand, gravel or decorative stone, or can be filled with soil and seeded with a native groundcover.
Both products allow rain or snowmelt to drain into the ground rather than running off the surface.
- Rain Barrels
Installing a rain barrel is perhaps the best first step you can make toward conserving water and protecting water quality. The GRCA will NOT be selling rain barrels for 2023 but you can find local community groups and schools selling rain barrels here: https://rainbarrel.ca/
Consider the benefits of using a rain barrel:
- reduce storm runoff from lawns and paved surfaces into local creeks and Lake Ontario, which provides drinking water and protects water quality and quantity;
- conserve water during hot, dry summer months when water restrictions are in place:
- lower water bill costs - rainwater is free;
- use soft, chlorine-free water for vegetable and flowering plants; and
- use rainwater to wash your vehicle, soft rain water does not leave spots.
- Discovery and Relaxation
Many pollinator species frequent the garden, including wild bees and butterflies. Discover who else is visiting the garden while learning about water conservation. Take advantage of the shelter on hot or rainy days.
Visit the Town of Cobourg Water Conservation Garden today. The garden is located on the south-east corner of Ewart Street and Division Street.
- Private Well Management
Approximately 30% of the population within the GRCA is dependent on private groundwater supplies for drinking water, bathing and household tasks. However, many well owners do not regularly test their water or inspect their well.
Consider having a free site visit from qualified GRCA staff. Staff will evaluate the structure of your well and the surrounding area. Recommendations will be given on how to better protect your important source of water. It is then up to the well owner to determine how to best proceed. Generally, problems with water quality area a result of poor well structure that allows surface water to enter the well. To book your free well site visit, contact the Conservation Lands Coordinator.
Consider testing your water a minimum of two times per year, ensuring you are testing the actual water, not water treated by a water softener or treatment device (e.g. UV filter). These tests are free and indicate the concentration (if any) of total coliform and E. coli.
To learn more about well water testing, contact your local agency:
Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit
Durham Health Department
Since 2007, and across the GRCA, more than 500 projects have been implemented through the Clean Water-Healthy Land Financial Assistance Program by property owners, schools, businesses and community groups.
The Regional Municipality of Durham, Municipality of Clarington, Municipality of Port Hope, Township of Hamilton and Town of Cobourg invested over $650,000.00 towards these projects, while landowners have contributed more than $2.2 million of their own money. The approximate monetary value of these projects is more than $3.4 million.
Project types funded include tree and shrub planting, livestock fencing from streams and woodlots, well upgrades and decommissions, agricultural best management practices (no-till drills and GPS units), clean water diversion, and many more.
- Stewardship Library
Welcome to the Stewardship Library. This is a one-stop shop to learn more about stewardship issues and management techniques.