---Aylmer sector partners secure affordable rain barrels for residents
In an effort to save water during the current heat wave, the Aylmer Sector Partners – Partenaires du secteur d’Aylmer - recently helped distribute 25 rain water barrels to residents. According to a press release issued by the Aylmer Sector Partners on June 9, the initiative is part of a partnership with Aylmer district councillor Audrey Bureau intended to contribute to the fight against climate change.
With the association in its third year of running the initiative, Aylmer Sector Partners representative Sylvie Trudel told the Aylmer Bulletin that the project is part of a larger ecological program called “My green neighbourhood”. Stating that the program will also feature a tree-planting initiative starting in the fall, Trudel said it’s focused on encouraging local residents and businesses to contribute to making Old Aylmer a vibrant, attractive, and pleasant neighbourhood to live in and visit. “It’s all about making Aylmer more green and more resilient to climate change,” Trudel said, stating that raising awareness about climate change is an important aspect of the program. Excluding Parc des Cèdres, Trudel said the Aylmer sector partners have identified nearly 2,000 potential spots to plant new trees in Old Aylmer, mostly in local parks. She added that the association is currently negotiating with the Conseil Régional de l’Environnement et du Développement Durable de l’Outaouais (CREDDO) to bring more trees to the sector, as part of a program called Vivre en vert.
Financed from Bureau’s discretionary fund, and the city’s Green Fund in previous years, she explained that the association initially established the rain barrel distribution initiative as a response to natural disasters recently impacting the region, including the 2017 and 2019 floods. She said the rain barrel initiative prevents rain water from going directly into the river and in the sewage system, saving it for gardening and urban agriculture during the summer months. Desiring to keep the initiative going for years to come considering its high demand from the public, Trudel said the more funding it receives, the more barrels can be distributed. “This year, I had a list of 120 people who wanted some, and I only had about 20 barrels to distribute,” Trudel said, noting that Aylmer residents are aware of the implications of climate change and the importance of protecting nature. “I always have waiting lists. I think it’s part of Aylmer’s identity. People love it to be green.”
“It’s typically one barrel per home, and we’ve also had community organizations who received their barrels,” she added. “If we did more publicity, we would probably get at least 300 people on the waiting list.” Trudel said the barrels are provided by an Outaouais based organization Agriculture urbaine CBIO. Highlighting the importance of small steps to make a positive impact on the environment and adapt to climate change, Bureau told the Aylmer Bulletin that the rain water distribution initiative is a perfect example. Bureau says she’s more than happy to augment her financial support for the program if the Aylmer sector partners wish to expand its accessibility.
Clarifying that the rain barrels are not completely free, she added that it’s important to ensure that people benefitting from the program have serious plans to use the water.