2021 Greener Greenspace Profile
Green Ventures Eco House
Located in Hamilton, ON, the gardens on the grounds of Green Venture’s Eco House are diverse, abundant and plentiful. The landscape has significant ecological value and is a community hub for environmental education including ecological land stewardship.
Design and Process
On the site of the not-for-profit Green Ventures Eco House, there are several naturalized garden areas and diverse habitats, including a xeriscape garden, rain gardens, pollinator plantings, mason bee houses, bat boxes, a Miyawaki forest pilot plot, several large native trees, including 130 year old black walnut trees, unique plant species, including bladdernut, pawpaws, new jersey tea, and spring ephemerals. Over the last few years, a concerted effort was made to remove or suppress all invasive plants. The land is cared for using sustainable land care practices, including companion planting, onsite composting and wise watering.
To protect the soil, it is disturbed as little as possible, and arborist chips, compost and sheet mulching are applied. Cover crops are grown in the community garden. To reduce the environmental footprint and to cycle nutrients, compost is made on-site. New trees and native plant gardens are added each year . Rainwater is used for most outdoor watering and for an indoor grey water toilet. In total, six tanks and barrels supply all of the vegetable seedling starting and native plant seedling areas. There are solar panels, a sedum roof on a shed, and a demonstration green roof modular over a patio. A permeable parking pad and EV charging station model sustainability to the community and school groups. All of these environmental features demonstrate how residents can reduce their environmental and energy footprint.
The Eco House has two year-round part-time staff maintaining the facility and undertaking community outreach. They also have one or two full-time summer students working on the grounds in the summer months. In 2021, Green Ventures employed a part-time garden consultant to guide and complete garden restorations, remove invasive plants throughout the site and support the community garden to grow produce for local food agencies.
The public is actively engaged at EcoHouse. Volunteers are involved in weekly maintenance projects and in seasonal work bees. The organization offers tours, in-class workshops and hosts community festivals and events. There are also programs to support gardening and biodiversity stewardship, including Grow a Row, Hamilton Seedy Saturday, Youth Professional Skills Program and Hamilton Seed Library.
The garden supports Hamilton’s Climate Change Action Strategy (2015), the City’s Clean and Green Strategic Priority, the draft Urban Forest Strategy and the Clean Air strategic priorities.
With environmental education programs and events all year long, the organization engages over 8,000 residents annually. The grounds are the hub of our programs. The stewards take the responsibility to care for the land seriously and continue to look for ways to support moving the city towards climate action and resilience.
Greener Greenspaces is a recognition program for sites from across Canada that exemplify greener greenspace stewardship. The aim of the program is to showcase examples of ecologically-focused land care as a means to inspire others and to further the movement across Canada.