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Natural Infrastructure for Stormwater Management 

We’re working with municipalities and community leaders to implement natural infrastructure projects across southwest Nova Scotia to better manage stormwater runoff and improve water quality within the watershed. 

This project is being undertaken in partnership with:

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What is natural infrastructure and why is it important?

Improving Nova Scotia’s methods for managing stormwater is critical as communities face increased precipitation and flooding events driven by our changing climate. The mismanagement of stormwater runoff can lead to overburdening of our current sewer systems resulting in water quality concerns, such as E.Coli contamination, nutrient loading leading to algal blooms, and suspended sediment.  

By implementing natural infrastructure (NI) (rain gardens, bioswales, etc..) property owners can slow the flow of water during storm events, allow for better filtration of contaminants, redirect rainwater away from sewers, and provide storage area for runoff and floodwaters.  

NI can also be implemented in combination with low impact development storage systems, such as rain barrels and cisterns. NI is an easy, low cost, aesthetically pleasing, and sustainable solution to stormwater issues on your property and in your communities.  

Problems with flooding on your property? Curious about rain gardens, bioswales, or low impact development? Want to understand how you can improve water quality in your community?  

Hot off the press! Download our 2023 Home Resource Kit on Stormwater Management: Click here to download

Current Project Sites
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Digby - ‘Hospital Hill’ Park 

Building on the rain garden complex constructed in 2018, we are partnering with the Town of Digby to implement additional natural infrastructure features to manage excess water on site and filter runoff from impervious surfaces (ex. Roofs, parking lots, sidewalks etc). In the fall of 2023, CARP constructed two new rain gardens on-site and advocated for the addition of two new bioswales into the park's design. 


Beacon United 

In CARP’s newest partnership, we are addressing the large volume of runoff coming from Beacon United’s roof. This project will redirect stormwater away from municipal sewer systems and mitigate flooding issues within the building. In the fall of 2023, staff constructed a 50 square metre rain garden and planted over 350 water-tolerant, native plants! 

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Bridgewater Memorial Arena 

Our partner Coastal Action are building a rain garden at the Memorial Arena in Bridgewater. This rain garden will be the second on site, the first was also constructed by Coastal Action in 2022. For more information about their work, you can visit their project site at the link below.  

Past Project Sites

Digby - ‘Hospital Hill’ Park 

A complex of six rain gardens were constructed in 2018 at “Hospital Hill” park to manage stormwater onsite. A bioswale and raised bed were also constructed at this site. These gardens are incorporated into a larger initiative to develop the site into a public green-space and were created in expansion of tree planting programs that the town partnered with CARP on in 2016.  


Raquette Pond

CARP constructed three rain gardens bordering a pond at Frank MacKintosh Memorial Park in 2019. These gardens have helped to capture and filter stormwater runoff from the surrounding impervious surfaces (roads, sidewalks) prior to it entering the pond.  

CARP has continued to conduct maintenance on these gardens each year since their completion.  


NSCC Middleton

CARP partnered with Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) Middleton to construct two rain gardens and a dry creek bed to channel surface water and runoff in 2018. Additional work and maintenance for this site was then completed in 2019.  

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Household Stormwater Management & Water Conservation Home Assessment Program  

Throughout 2019-2020 CARP partnered with BCAF recruiting homeowners in the Kings, Annapolis, Digby, Yarmouth, Shelburne, Lunenburg, and Queens counties to participate in a home assessment program to identify actions to improve the management and use of freshwater on their properties. Assessments focused on water consumption and stormwater runoff issues in order to identify conservation and management options.  

The information collected was used to create a property specific report that outlined recommendations and established an action plan that could be implemented by residents to manage issues with stormwater (e.g. flooding) or to support water conservation.  

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Low Impact Development for Stormwater Management 

In 2019 CARP and Coastal Action partnered with three local businesses to install 1000L rainwater cisterns, allowing for capture of surface runoff and displacing the use of municipally treated water. Cubitaner Cisterns were donated by Acadian Seaplants Ltd. and repurposed as rainwater collection and storage systems.  

Business partners included Bunchberry Nursery, Upper Clements, Annapolis County; Summerland Plant Nursery, Wilmot, Annapolis County; Ragged Robin Farm & Nursery, Port Royal, Annapolis County, Sweet Fern Farm, Pleasantville, Lunenburg County; and Wayward Farm, West Northfield, Lunenburg County.  

Types of Natural Infrastructure and Low Impact Development for SWM
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