Lake Wilcox Front Yard Makeovers
As part of the Lake Wilcox Sustainable Neighbourhood Retrofit Action Plan (SNAP), two homes were selected to participate in free Front Yard Makeovers! The Front Yard Makeovers are:
- Showcasing beautiful front yards with great 'curb appeal'
- Demonstrating environmentally sustainable landscape designs and practices
- Helping to reduce the homeowners' outdoor water use and utility bills
The Front Yard Makeovers combine rain gardens, soak aways, high-capacity rain barrels, permeable interlocking paving, and native and water-efficient plants and trees. These gardens transform rain into a resource, reducing the need for watering, and also reducing the potential for pollutants, like fertilizers, to reach Lake Wilcox. They are beautiful, colourful gardens!
By monitoring reductions in water use for a period of three years after the installation of the new gardens, we will show homeowners why they should invest in similar landscaping at home.
The Makeovers are led by Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) in partnership with the Regional Municipality of York, the Town of Richmond Hill and private sector sponsors and partners. The gardens were designed and installed by Cypress Hill Design & Build in Summer 2012.
The Front Yard Makeovers were unveiled to the public at a Community BBQ on Saturday September 22, 2012. About 250 neighbours toured the gardens, learned how they can start making over their gardens, and had fun!
In June 2011, TRCA and partners invited residents from a the Lake Wilcox neighbourhood to apply for the Makeovers. Interested homeowners attended an information session and gardening seminar. Twenty-two applications were received and reviewed by a Selection Jury made up of representatives from TRCA, York Region and the Town of Richmond Hill. The jury reviewed the applications and conducted homeowner interviews to evaluate and select the successful candidates. The objective was to identify homes with the greatest potential to showcase the new designs and save water, and find homeowners who would be interested in sharing their experiences with their neighbours and the broader community.
Joyce and Tommy from 20 Wheatsheaf Street are one of our lucky homeowners! Their front yard was selected for a Makeover because it showed great potential for reducing outdoor water use. Joyce and Tommy have struggled to keep their lawn looking good, using a lot of water in the process. They are first time homeowners and excited to learn how to replace their grass with a beautiful, low maintenance garden.
Euming and Andy from 95 Wheelwright Drive are the second lucky homeowners! Their front yard was selected for a Makeover because it has good potential to showcase the next level of sustainability. Euming and Andy already use a rain barrel to water their gardens, but need help to take the next step. As an environmental science teacher, Euming wants to put ideas she teaches into practice, so she can share her experiences with her students, family and neighbours.
The garden at 20 Wheatsheaf Street is perfect for the busy commuter. It takes rain water from the roof and directs it to the garden. It also features trees, shrubs and perennials that need less water and fertilizer, saving homeowners both time and money spent on garden maintenance. Download the landscape plan for Wheatsheaf (PDF).
The garden at 95 Wheelwright Drive is ideal for families. It shows how a creative, grass-free landscape engages children in active play. Using rain water from the roof, and native and water-wise plants, helps reduce garden maintenance time and costs, and keep urban runoff out of Lake Wilcox. Download the landscape plan for Wheelwright (PDF).