Rain Garden at St Luke’s Palermo Anglican Church

Volunteers working hard to plant native flowers and shrubs.

We are happy to announce that there is a new rain garden in Oakville at St. Luke’s Palermo Anglican Church (3114 Dundas St W, Oakville, ON L6M 4J3)!

This rain garden will reduce run off and decrease the amount of pollutants entering our creeks, by capturing rain water from both the Community Centre and the Church roofs.

The diversion of water has improved safety and accessibility via one of the main walkway entrances to the church.

The garden was designed by Sean James (landscape designer specializing in native species and rain gardens).  A large number of community groups and organizations were involved and made this project a community success.  The process included site assessments, volunteer training, garden design, site preparation and planting and mulching. Partners included Green Communities Canada, Halton Environmental Network, Halton Food Council, Fern Ridge Eco Landscaping, Harpski Landscaping, and Maple Hill Tree Services and the St. Luke’s Church and community volunteers. We are grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation and Scott’s Canada who provided the necessary funding and grants to make the plan a reality.

On May 5th2019, Oakvillegreen delivered a presentation to 28 members of the community to explain the importance of Green Infrastructure and Rain gardens, as well as describe the volunteer roles needed during the project.

On May 12nd the site preparation was started with 5 volunteers and staff from the aforementioned landscaping companies which included removal of the sod and soil, and excavation to provide the correct gradient and slope to the garden. Scott’s compost was added to help break the clay and loosen the soil.

On May 19thwith help from 42 volunteers, the garden was finally planted. During the event, younger volunteers were encouraged to learn about pollinators and native species by making seedbombs with native wild flowers. The adults helped dig and plant 173 native shrubs, flowers, grasses and sedges. Scott’s mulch was then put in place.

Followup care has ensured the success of the garden: Visits have been made by Oakvillegreen to add extra mulch after rainfalls, and weeding and watering have been done when needed. The garden is growing thanks to volunteers from the Church and youth groups that continue to care for the garden.

St. Luke’s Church is delighted with the result and their community is proud of their environmental action to invite pollinators into their own backyard.

Andrea Rowe (HEN) educating some of our younger participants on native plants and pollinators

Oakvillegreen is pleased to have co-ordinated this community project with the help of many partners.

Sean James sharing his expertise and guiding volunteers


Thank you for participating in BE AN OAKVILLE TREE HERO!

Thank you to all schools, youth and community groups who participated in our Tree Hero Campaign this spring!

 It has been wonderful to see such engagement and interest in learning and helping Oakville’s urban forest. We were able to deliver this program thanks to the generous support of the Canadian Tree Fund. We also wish to thank the Town of Oakville, Conservation Halton, Wellington County Green Legacy Program, and A.M.A.Horticulture Inc. for their donations of soil, seeds, pots, seedlings, and smart pots! We could not have been able to do it all without your support! Thank you to the Elora Environment Centre for lending us the beautiful tree hero capes!

We were able to reach out to a total of 1,230 students. Our participants were from various pre-schools, elementary and secondary schools in Oakville, as well as scouts groups, a youth newcomer leadership group, and a youth HOCKEY TEAM!

Amazing to have had the opportunity, as part of this program, to deliver 31 presentations, 21 tree walks, and hold 5 school tree planting and stewardship events. We planted over 200 native trees and started 383 red oak, bur oak, red maple, and eastern redbud trees from seeds.


Thank you to all the TREE HEROES, keep up the good work and continue to be local tree stewards and your school tree ambassadors!

We hope you will continue to share what you learned and spread awareness about the importance and benefits of native trees, and the threats they are facing! We look forward to seeing you again next school year!

Oakville Declares Climate Change Emergency

On Monday, June 24th 2019 Oakville’s Council voted unanimously to pass a motion declaring a climate emergency joining more than 40 municipalities in Canada that have declared a state of emergency regarding the environmental crisis.

Oakville’s Town Council heard from Oakvillegreen and eight other delegations from residents and local organizations, all emphasizing the urgency to act now.

As Oakville’s environmental association here is our contribution:

Council June 24, 2019

Climate Change Emergency- Item 4          Oakvillegreen delegation 

Good evening,

My name is Karen Brock and I am delegating on behalf of Oakvillegreen Conservation Association.

Biodiversity and Climate Change go hand in hand. You can’t deal with one alone without addressing the other.   Nature doesn’t work that way. 

OCA has a history of protecting trees and greenspaces in Oakville. We have worked collaboratively with the Town and community partners to enhance our forests, riparian areas, valleys and open spaces.

We are a small organization with a strong action bias. We are on the front line of seeing what is happening in our forests, streams and natural areas.  We see first hand that climate change has brought invasive insects like emerald ash borer and invasive plant species like DSV, Garlic-mustard and buckthorn. Our urban forests are threatened by these species that outcompete natives and have thrived due to climate change when warmer winters no longer kill off these pests.

We also see the constant struggle the town has with development pressure, and actively participate in site planning, committee and council meetings to protect the pernicious nibbling away at our natural infrastructure from private interests. 

Working with the Town of Oakville and other levels of government, we see organizations that are strategy rich and implementation poor.  As you receive tonight’s report I urge you not to leave it as just another report in the file.  Put some money behind it!   

We feel that the Town of Oakville has done a good job of creating a Climate Action Policy, a Stormwater Management Policy, the Oakville Biodiversity Strategy and an Urban Forest Strategy and is working on its Energy Plan. Tonight you receive the Climate Change Emergency feedback from Staff. 

However, without a meaningful budget and a concrete multi-year action plan behind these policies, we will not be able to turn the tide. 

Smart local investments in climate change can have a highly positive ROI (Return on Investment).  These investments will have to be multi pronged. There is no one easy silver bullet to fix this issue.  Oakvillegreen’s strategy is planting, advocacy and education – all of which work at a local level to improve our environment.  Green infrastructure is the only investment you make that will increase in value over time versus depreciating like all other town assets. 

I’m not an accountant, but the Town’s budget dedicated to control & remove these invasive species are insignificant line items, compared to the epic battle we must wage against the effects of climate change.

Stephen Hounsell of the Ontario Biodiversity Council says;

 ”We appear to be strategy rich and implementation poor” and we need to change that. We are in the midst of not only a climate crisis, but also a biodiversity crisis, with a very clear deterioration of wetlands, grasslands & woodlands – the Great Lakes are hardening and there is huge habitat loss.

Bottom Line- Healthy ecosystems sustain healthy people and a healthy economy”.

He says humans are the problem…but they have the solution too.

He outlines 4 strategic directions – Engage people, Reduce threats, Enhance resilience and Improve knowledge

Oakvillegreen is doing all of these 4 things, but we all need to join forces to accelerate our impact. How do we achieve our policy goals? Policy needs to lead to action. 

Timing is important to fund Council’s response to climate change.  As the saying goes, “An ounce a prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  It’s only going to be more expensive and take much longer to fix later. 

As a town and nation, let’s dig deep and re-examine our values

Let’s set ambitious targets & create timelines but most of all, let’s see the money!

I borrowed the phrase “ We would be left to cook in our own juices if we left climate change, environmental protection and food security to the Province”. Local action is more important now, than it ever was.

Define our values, then… be certain strategy, policy and action are in line.

We MUST work together to do better and our organization is here to help.

Karen Brock,

President, Oakvillegreen


Now it is time for all citizens to take responsibility and drive change in their community.  Here are 10 actions that the community members can do.