ReWilding Lake Simcoe
Through ReWilding, experts, citizens, community groups and diverse partners are discovering new ways of helping people enhance their own lives as they help the lake and watercourses. The project is inspiring communities, neighbourhoods, and municipalities to rethink their futures through the redesign of unique outdoor spaces that foster the thriving of both people, nature and Lake Simcoe:
- Innovations in citizen/expert engagement enable people to reimagine their lives in a 21st C context and demonstrate how a partnership between people and nature can help them realize these dreams.
- Transformational designs provide spaces with new purpose as well as innovations in Low Impact Development, stormwater management and aquatic habitat.
- Experimentation with new approaches measure complex changes in both people and nature.
In 2011, ReWilding Keswick Creeks explored the ReWild™ premise through four small on the ground projects. Based on pilot results, in 2013, 15 other groups became partners in ReWilding Lake Simcoe, a $1.6 million four–year initiative with $1.1 million in Lake Simcoe Southeastern Georgian Bay Clean Up Fund (LSSGBCUF) support.
Where We Are Now
ReWilding Lake Simcoe has now completed four years of activity alongside a fulsome program of research on public engagement. ReWilding Lake Simcoe and its offshoot “Naturescaping” piloting contests and workshops to help residents revitalize their yards earned the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority’s 2016 “Pioneering Green Communities” award. Outcomes include:
• 40 hectares renaturalized including 3.2 kms of shoreline
• 25 kg of phosphorus diverted annually
• 90 million + litres of stormwater infiltrated/diverted annually based on calculated yearly rainfall and the reduction of stormwater runoff
• 5,000 trees and plants
• New practices developed for engaging communities
• New neighbourhood connections ignited
• 1,500 + people engaged in ReWilding activities
• Decreased stormwater management costs through natural infiltration/diversion
• New economic value in revitalized public spaces
• Added value of residential real estate through enhancing landscape “curb appeal”