In 2011 the Unitarian Congregation in Mississauga (UCM) partnered with Credit Valley Conservation through the Greening Corporate Grounds program. The goals of the UCM initiative are to:
- Remove invasive plants
- Naturalize with native plants
- Reduce use of water
- Provide habitat for birds, insects (bees, butterflies) and small mammals
- Create natural barriers to reduce noise
- Add a ‘rain garden” to catch and filter water run-off from the property
- Add to the urban forest in Mississauga
Native trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants have been generously planted on the major berm, in the rain garden and around the side and front of the property. The plantings have created a beautiful physical barrier around the property line, replacing views of traffic and the parking areas with a colourful screen of native trees and shrubs. These provide a home for a variety of birds which add to the beauty and tranquility of the grounds.
Habitat has been created for song and ground birds, small mammals and, most importantly, to bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Monarch butterflies are found each fall sharing the New England asters with bees.
A “rain garden” or bio-retention cell in the parking lot collects runoff from the property. Plants and soil filter out pollutants so cleaner water flows into Lake Ontario, our drinking source. This natural element offers an eye-catching view from our many windows in the Great Hall.
Funding for this initiative has come from donations from UCM members and friends, and two grants from TD Canada Trust Friends of the Environment. Donations of plant materials have come from Green Horizons David Suzuki Foundation and Credit Valley Conservation. Canada Summer Jobs provided wage subsidies for two part-time student projects.
Volunteers are the backbone of the project. Over 60 volunteers have contributed to preparation, planting and maintenance of the Greening Initiative. Volunteers of all ages and abilities are involved and every contribution is appreciated.
For more information contact Michael Wheeler at firstname.lastname@example.org
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