Learning from Connected Communities: Bioswales and Rain Gardens

Climate change is here, it is happening, and it is impacting New Brunswickers across the province and other Atlantic Canada residents. Nature-based and natural approaches to adapting to climate change focus on implementing infrastructure that restores and protects natural areas while removing greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere, reducing flooding and stormwater surge risks, and supporting biodiversity. There is interest and support for nature-based climate solutions from residents (see public survey of opinion results here) and there are many examples of successful projects across the region (see maps of case studies here). Municipalities, community organizations, and landowners, however, face many barriers and challenges to developing their own nature-based projects including access to funding, materials, knowledgeable contractors, native plants, and more.

Speakers: Jolyne Hébert, Executive Manager, Shediac Bay Watershed Association

Jolyne Hebert has over 10 years of experience with environmental NGOs in Southeastern New Brunswick. Since 2015, she began working towards the implementation of a stormwater management program in the Town of Shediac. With funding from the NB Environmental Trust Fund and ECCC EcoAction program, she has led the development of stormwater management projects using green infrastructure in the Shediac Bay area. From rain gardens to bioretention systems, she promotes the use of plants and soil microbiome to tackle water quality issues related to pollution found in runoff. This workshop will feature several of the projects she has created, from residential rain gardens to commercial bioswales.

Roxanne MacKinnon, Executive Director, ACAP Saint John


Roxanne MacKinnon is the Executive Director of ACAP Saint John and has years of experience working on water quality and aquatic habitat projects. She has a keen interest in connecting environmental issues with community members and inspiring people to take local action. In recent years, Roxanne has been actively involved in multiple rain garden projects from designing, to funding, to implementation and works with a dedicated team of staff and volunteers to implement natural climate change adaptation initiatives within the Greater Saint John Region.