This case study addresses the climatic risks and vulnerabilities related to extreme weather events, especially as related to extreme precipitation and urban flooding. In recent years, the City of Burlington has experienced multiple extreme weather events and has been impacted significantly by urban flooding. In both 2013 and 2014, the City was hit by torrential rainfall that resulted in severe flooding and damage to private property and public infrastructure. It was reported that the 2014 flooding damaged up to 10% of the City’s houses. These instances, although disastrous, spurred on multiple climate change adaptation projects across the City. The City has since undertaken a variety of community adaptation efforts such as ICLEI Canada’s Train the Trainer project. Participation in this project allowed the City to identify key vulnerabilities and risks facing the broader community. Building on this knowledge and growing partnerships with community members, the City has now embarked on more localized adaptation efforts such as the rain garden introduced as part of the Collaborative Implementation Group project.
Bruce T. Lindley Public School was selected for the pilot project, as it had experienced problems with drainage in the past. One area of the school’s soccer fields had been found to hold standing water and mud, causing health and safety risks to children, hygiene issues, loss of access to the property, and complaints from staff. The school also has an active outdoor environmental education program which is well-suited to the goal of the rain garden as both a practical and educational addition to the property.