Honouring Mary Bayes: Building a Rain Garden in Douglas Park, Horseshoe Bay

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Douglas Park

6371 Douglas Street

West Vancouver, BC V5Z 1Z8


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Interested in learning about rain gardens? Why not help us install this rain garden.

About this Event

The North Shore Rain Garden Project: Build a Rain Garden is presented by Pacific Water Research Centre in SFU's Faculty of Environment.

Who we are:

Established in 2017, the North Shore Rain Garden Project (NSRGP) aims to engage and involve the community in the design and installation of rain gardens in residential and commercial sites. The NSRGP strives to increase awareness of the benefits of rain gardens, educate citizens about the resources available to help in creating rain gardens on their properties, and encourage participation in the planning, installation and maintenance of several planned community demonstration rain gardens. A research component of the project involves SFU students and local citizen scientists and will examine water flow and quality before and after installation. To date, the NSRGP has held community and professional education workshops and created a walking tour map of rain gardens in the City of North Vancouver.

What is a rain garden?

A rain garden is created with a shallow depression that is then filled with organic soil and planted with plants tolerant of the increasingly wet winters and dry summers. The design allows rainwater run-off to be intercepted from impervious urban areas such as streets and sidewalks, parking lots, driveways, roofs and compacted lawn areas, and then slowed, filtered of pollutants and absorbed— particularly during periods of heavy rain—rather than entering into the storm sewer system and out to sea.

About the Douglas Park Rain Garden Project

In partnership with Simon Fraser University's Faculty of Environment, and the District of West Vancouver, Western Residents Association (WRA), a local community group, are installing a rain garden project for a park space on Douglas Street in the District of West Vancouver in the neighbourhood of Horseshoe Bay. This project was inspired to honor and remember the late Mary Bayes, a well loved local community leader who passed away last year.

The West Vancouver rain garden will be built in one of the few neighbourhood parks in Horseshoe Bay. The park is currently used as a through-way by pedestrians and dog-walkers, but the lower portion of the site holds a very large puddle throughout most of the fall, winter and spring.

The proposed rain garden entails replacing lawn and bare areas with soil, mulch and a diversity of mostly native plant species. The garden is designed to intercept road runoff and accommodate the high-water table in expanded planted areas and seasonal “wetland”.

Replacing the lawn with organic-rich soils and dense plantings will increase the capacity of the park to infiltrate stormwater and intercept contaminants from the roadway. The infiltration function will moderate and reduce inputs to the puddle and to the ditch. These effects will be beneficial to the sensitive marine environment of Horseshoe Bay.

The rain garden design will eliminate muddy grass and puddles over the wet seasons. Passage through the park will be easier and more attractive with the creation of a pathway and the removal of invasive plants. Residents will be able to see practical solutions to flooding from precipitation, alternatives to directing flow to ditches.

Please let us know what time you would like to come by to help:


11am to 12pm

12pm - 1pm

1pm -2pm


Please note: Dress for possible showers and cold weather!!


Please contact project director:

Joanna Ashworth

Director, Professional Program and Partnerships Research Associate,

Pacific Water Research Centre Simon Fraser University, Faculty of Environment,



Funding for this project is made possible from SFU's Faculty of Environment, Pacific Water Research Centre, Western Residents' Association, District of West Vancouver, Nature Trust of BC, North Growth Foundation, West Vancouver Community Foundation and Horseshoe Bay Business Association.

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Douglas Park

6371 Douglas Street

West Vancouver, BC V5Z 1Z8


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