Back in 2012 I showed you the picture below. The first apartments on the current rebuild of LeBreton Flats (Claridgeland) had been occupied for a year or so, and baby toys were starting to appear in windows. I asked, how … Continue reading Tot Lot Not
Parks in the old urban neighbourhoods like the west side are often quite small. The one on Elm Street is fairly typical. It is a bit-larger-than-normal pocket park installed when some houses burned down. A few years ago it was … Continue reading From Parking to Parks, a nascent trend?
I used to be just as scornful as many when it came to synthetic grass. Fake. Artificial. Faux, to be snobby about it. I’ve changed my mind. I’m tired of seeing public playing fields beat to sh__ mud by over-use. … Continue reading The green green grass of … synthetics
Seattle and its suburbs had an abundance of drainage swales. That might reflect the high seasonal rainfall. In a suburban industrial park (in Redmond or Bellevue, I’m not sure) , about half populated with businesses and the other half being vacant lots, the existing roads had been retrofitted to accommodate swales. The existing infrastructure looked to me to be about a decade old. At each half block, a pair of bulbouts had created a “neckdown” or pinch in the road. A crosswalk was installed, simply marked with a zebra stripe and fluorescent sign (Ottawa traffic engineers are horrified at this … Continue reading More exciting drainage swales, in industrial parks
Traditional engineering tries to remove as much rainwater as fast as possible. Rain falls, pavement directs it into storm sewers. Outa sight, outa mind. More recent storm water management for Ottawa streets reduces the permeability of the catch basin grate so water self-stores on the street (that’s “puddles” to the rest of us) and runs off over time. Preston has this feature. Unfortunately, it makes walking the sidewalks within an hour or two of rainfalls a drenching experience. Some puddles remain for 24 hours. It rains a lot in the pacific northwest. They have installed a lot of “drainage swales” in … Continue reading Exciting drainage swales in urban areas
The opening picture is looking up into my backyard Sour Cherry tree. This was the “off year” so there were fewer bushels of cherries. We make little ramekin pies. Since the tree overhangs the yard into my neighbours, they pick some and make jam. For many years, I have found my west side neighbourhood rather shortchanged in the bird variety department. But lately, more varieties have been coming. There is now a cardinal pair nesting near Gladstone/Preston (see what a family-suggestive sculpture can accomplish?). And a pair of beautiful yellow grosbeaks had been visiting my cherry supply. Alas, last week … Continue reading More west side nature news
Community Gardeners, sometimes called guerilla gardeners, inspired by a love of plants, work to beautify their neighbourhood through planting things. Sometimes this is into otherwise empty planters the city leaves scattered around. Other times it is in less-expected places, ie real guerilla planting. Here is the community garden planted outside the Plant Rec Centre: In the Plant case, gardeners worked with the city to install the garden. The city provided a truckload of topsoil as part of the Somerset reconstruction project. Volunteers spread the soil and did the planting with material from other sites and private gardens. A passing … Continue reading Community Gardeners carry on …