In 2017, RiverStone Environmental Solutions partnered with 6 other community organizations to create the Corner Garden in Bracebridge, Ontario. The concept of the garden and demonstration site was to showcase the use of low impact development and the use of native plant gardens. The garden showcases a new approach to eco-friendly landscaping. It also serves as an educational property to help raise awareness about the wide variety of environmentally conscious development options.

Low impact development design is a new approach to city, town, and individual property development to increase sustainability. It uses a combination of natural and engineered elements to reduce the impact of development on the natural environment. There are many components to low impact development including: storm water management, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, sustainable forestry and local sourcing of material.

One of the most unique features of the Corner Garden project, is the Ecoraster driveway – it seems to always be the first thing to catch the eye of passersby! One of the goals of the Corner Garden project was to maintain all of the storm water on the property. This meant re-thinking the way we normally design driveways, and sidewalks, as well as redirecting rainwater from the building. The Ecoraster driveway is a geogrid product that can be filled with grass or gravel to create a permeable paving surface. This allows all of the rainwater that falls on the driveway to filter through the driveway and be infiltrated into the ground, rather than running off into the municipal sewer system. The actual ecoraster is made from 100% recycled plastics and carries a 20 year manufacturers guarantee. Ecoraster is a proudly Canadian owned and operated company, making the choice to use the product a very simple one! At the Corner Garden, RiverStone chose to fill each of the ecorasters with locally sourced crushed granite and used a native mix of grass and clover seed to fill the ecorasters within the parking spaces in the driveway.

Wondering about the durability and cost…we were too! The Ecoraster paving system requires minimal regular maintenance. Each of the grids lock together and thus there is no disengagement or shifting of the material. The plastic used to manufacture is a sophisticated plastic to recycle, but ensures the matrix remains flexible and strong in varying climates and even under heavy weight loads. The Ecoraster surface doesn’t develop cracks, potholes or uneven ruts and dips. The system is accessorized with permanent parking markers to ensure no repainting of lines.

What about the winter? The Ecoraster driveway can be easily cleared of snow using a snow blower or a plow and requires only minimal salt as the common freeze-thaw cycle that occurs on solid surfaces does not usually happen with Ecoraster. This translates not only to a cost savings, but also reduces our environmental impact!

After three summers and two winters with our Ecoraster driveway, we are thrilled with the results! Maintenance has been minimal and simple and we are very pleased to be maintaining our rainwater on our own property. Still need more convincing? Check out this clip of Al Shaw, Principal and Senior Ecologist, sharing his thoughts on the driveway!

If you’re interested in learning more about the driveway, please contact us, or feel free to stop by anytime to check it out. We’d be happy to answer your questions.

Just think of us as “green” paving the way for the future of sustainability!