School Rain Gardens 101

Every elementary and secondary school in North Delta (Delta School District) hosts at least one student-planted rain garden, for a total of 21 gardens that absorb rainwater runoff from adjacent pavements or roofs. These gardens are a simple, effective technique for reducing both flood and drought hazard. They also engage students in hands-on mitigation of climate impacts -- countering "eco-despair" with practical "eco-action". Get acquainted with the basics of rain gardens and how they work, then take a virtual tour of several at North Delta schools. Learn about the collaborative efforts (City of Delta, Delta School District, Streamkeepers, students) that created these projects, and imagine if something similar might work in your situation. Photo-dense slide presentation with captions, live commentary & digital handouts.

Target Audience


To Bring/Important Notes



1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

This session is full.


  • Cougar Creek Streamkeepers (North Delta/Surrey BC)
    Deborah Jones

    Deborah Jones has a BA in Urban Studies, a Masters of Library Science, and worked for Vancouver Public Library for over 30 years. 

    She and husband Ib Nielsen joined the volunteer group Cougar Creek Streamkeepers in 2004, after noticing illegal tree-cutting on the banks of North Delta's most productive salmon stream.  They put their gardening experience to work on a restoration planting project along that streambank -- which gave them many opportunities to observe the harmful impacts of "rainwater runoff" close-up, as it poured directly into Cougar Creek at Scott Road from nearby streets, parking lots and roofs. 

    These observations in turn inspired Deb's request to the Corporation (now City) of Delta, for a stormwater (rainwater) infiltration pilot project -- a request that materialized in 2006 as Cougar Canyon Elementary School Rain Garden.  This first project proved so successful that it was followed by the creation of rain gardens at all North Delta schools, as well as other community locations. 

    Deb now serves as volunteer Rain Gardens Coordinator for the Streamkeepers, overseeing the maintenance of 29 school and community rain gardens that were installed in collaboration with City of Delta, Delta School District, Pacific Salmon Foundation, BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Nature Trust of BC and others.    She also advises the Nature Trust and Be the Change Earth Alliance on their rain garden programs.