Water E-Bulletin - A service of the Manitoba Eco-Network
November 2, 2015

Niakwa Trail Rain Garden

Thank-you to all those who made this project a success! Please read on to learn more about this project, and for resources for doing your own rain garden, or related project.

The Backstory

In the fall of 2014, Save our Seine approached the Manitoba Eco-Network to partner on a rain garden demonstration site. The purpose of this project was to highlight natural ways of managing storm water runoff, to reduce the amount of water running into the storm drains, and to filter runoff before it enters the waterways (specifically the Seine).

As it turns out, we had also been looking into creating a demonstration rain garden, so the partnership was a perfect fit. Two additional and invaluable partners came on board with the project: the City of Winnipeg helped with site selection, and provided a great deal of expertise, and HTFC Planning and Design contributed countless hours to consultation, design and pulling together various aspects of the project.

Making the Vision a Reality

On September 16th, volunteers from the community gathered together to plant over 600 native plants before the grand unveiling of the Niakwa Trail Rain Garden.

The garden — located along St. Anne’s Road near the Niakwa Trail — features deep-rooted native trees, shrubs, grasses and flowers that will trap and remove sediment and other pollutants from runoff from a 9,800-square-foot parking lot nearby. The water leaving the garden and entering the nearby Seine River will be cleaner than when it arrived.

In addition to cleaning and storing rain runoff, the garden will attract pollinators and song birds to the site. Many of the plants will produce berries which will add colour to the garden and also provide food for over-wintering birds.

While the garden will likely take some time to fully establish, the site is already functioning to slow and filter runoff.

We are very grateful to community volunteers who have helped with the planting, and to
Old St. Vital Biz, who have made sure that the plants are well watered as they are getting established.

We look forward to installing an interpretive sign at the site soon.


We gratefully acknowledge the support and partnership of:

In September, Co-op Commmunity Spaces Program launched a contest with four other community projects across Canada. This contest allowed us to get national attention for the Niakwa Trail Rain Garden. The voting is now closed, but please enjoy the video that was created for the Niakwa Trail Rain Garden project.



Capture and Use Rain Water - DISCOUNTED Rain Barrels
Capturing rain water off of your roof is a great way to divert runoff from the storm sewers. You can use it to water your garden, and since it is free of chlorine, your plants will be much happier.

Urban Eatin' has a limited number of discounted rain barrels for sale. The barrels have been made from repurposed food barrels, and come with a reclaimed-lumber stand and installation, for
$100+gst/pst (regular price $250). 

If you are interested, please place your
order online (select the “Discounted” option) to reserve it — or you can also contact them at 204-770-2204 or (but finalized online orders will be given first priority).

Build your own Rain Garden
The Seine-Rat River Conservation District has been working together with homeowners in their Conservation District to encourage people to build rain gardens on their properties. Their website has some great tools, including a worksheet to help you determine the size of your rain garden, and what soil amendments you might need.

Green Communities Canada's program: RAIN, Community Solutions, has an entire website dedicated to videos, tips, and photos of rain gardens. Visit to find out more information.

Check out these great local suppliers to purchase native plants for your garden: Prairie Originals, Prairie Flora, and Sage Garden. Some of these places even offer rain garden, or seasonally flooded garden packages.

Manitoba Eco-Network is looking for partners for a Depave Paradise project!

What is Depave Paradise?

Depave Paradise works with local organizations to stage workbees, during which volunteers “liberate the soil,” using hand tools to pry up the pavement. Green spaces replace the asphalt, with a focus on native plants, bushes and trees, and the needs of the site host.

Why Depave?

By removing unused pavement and replacing it with native plants, trees and shrubs we are creating shade, restoring the natural hydrological cycle, recharging our groundwater supply, and reducing polluted runoff entering the nearest surface water via the storm sewers.


Get involved!

Are you a business or organization with an area of pavement that you want to get rid of? Would you be interested in hosting a Depave Paradise event? We have funding available to help make it happen. Please contact Megan Krohn by phone 204-943-0318, or email for more information.

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