Erin council considers landscaping at town office

ERIN – The town of Erin is considering landscaping and naturalizing the property around Town Hall.

Erin council heard a presentation by Deborah Kenley, senior coordinator of Greening Corporate Grounds, a program of Credit Valley Conservation, at its regular council meeting on Nov. 17.

Kenley has been working with the town’s environment and sustainability advisory committee and presented an overall sustainable landscaping plan that could be executed over time.

“Town hall is surrounded by natural areas,” she said.

“If you plant habitat, over time you will have wildlife.”

In general, Kenley recommended planting native species, reducing the lawn area, treating windows to reduce bird strikes, creating habitat for animals, birds and critters, and creating paths “and encouraging people to use them.”

Near Trafalgar Road, Kenley recommended a living snow fence comprised of trees and shrubs to help reduce snow drift. Adding a “no-mow zone” with tall grasses and wildflowers on the edge of the lawn area will reduce maintenance costs and attract pollinators and birds.

The manicured gardens around Town Hall can stay and could be augmented with native plants.

Kenley anticipated $10,000 for the first year would accomplish a lot. Greening Corporate Grounds uses volunteers to help with planting and preparing garden sites and taps into free tree programs. Kenley said the group would help coordinate volunteers through work events, like a tree-planting day, for example.

“The aftermath is the more expensive part,” councillor Jamie Cheyne commented and Mayor Allan Alls agreed.

“I think we would have to hire a project manager,” Alls speculated. “I don’t believe you will have the volunteers. But there’s more to come on this.”

Council accepted the report for information.