Permeable Pathway Project

Low-Impact Development in the Community Garden

Trinity Village Community Garden Permeable Pathway Project

Our Vision

The vision of Trinity Village states that Trinity Village will be a dynamic community leader, fostering a compassionate and engaging holistic lifestyle in an eco-friendly environment, through best practices, partnerships, research, and innovation.

The tenets that guide the Horticulture Program at Trinity Village expand this vision. Stewardship of the earth requires knowledge, understanding, and wisdom. Decisions that impact directly or indirectly the ecosystem in which we live at Trinity Village are evidence-based and carefully applied to mitigate any known negative cascading effect on the property’s ecosystem and beyond. Best horticulture practices are developed and maintained in the landscape to promote sustainable stewardship; we consider and balance both ecological and economic realities on the property, for the well-being of elders, employees, and visitors.

Within the circle of these guiding principles, the Community Garden Permeable Pathway Project has been an opportunity to explore the concept of Low Impact Development and discover the benefits of permeable pavement, for both the Trinity Village Community and the greater Region of Waterloo Community.

Building with Permeable Pavement

Careful consideration in the choice of material and installation led Trinity Village to select permeable pavement of natural crushed stone over the more manufactured products of asphalt or cement. As a natural product rather than a manufactured product, greenhouse gas emissions and carbon footprints have been reduced. Its life span of 40 years - as tested by the University of Ottawa - requires only one application during this time period rather than two or more required for either asphalt or cement.

Given its capacity to allow stormwater to flow through and seep into the groundwater reserves naturally, in larger applications, permeable pavement would potentially divert water from the stormwater drains and the ensuing filtration and treatment processes.

Half of the project area included old asphalt pavement that was cracked, not draining properly, and creating mobility hazards for the residents, staff, and visitors. That asphalt was removed and brought to a recycling plant. The permeable paving in this area has eliminated the pooling of water on the path in all seasons and has created a safe, slip-free natural stone walkway that also reduces the heat sync of our urban landscape due to its light colour.

The new portion of the walkway through the orchard and back to the raised beds has provided an opportunity for garden expansion and orchard development as people ambulate in a circular pattern through the Community Garden Area.

Community Garden Permeable Pathway

Let’s Explore and Understand

Low Impact Development seeks to mimic the natural drainage of water as part of our stormwater management strategy. Using permeable paving for the Community Garden pathway provides an opportunity to evaluate its effectiveness over time in all seasons. Anecdotal observation will answer the following questions:

  • Does permeable paving allow faster and more complete infiltration of snow melt during the winter months compared to the pathways without permeable paving?
  • Will it be slip-free during winter months?
  • Will the pathway continue to be dry and slip-free during the rest of the year?
  • Can it be maintained through the occasional maintenance of gentle power washing given the proximity to fine soil particles in the gardens and compost areas?
  • Would there be an opportunity to expand its use on the property? ie. in certain parking areas?
  • Is it a concept that can be encouraged among residents of the Region of Waterloo having proved its sustainability?

What do you think?

Please join us in taking the short survey about the permeable pathway below.

I am a*


What was your first impression of the permeable pathway?*
Choose all that apply.

Did you have any other first impressions?
Please share in your own words if you had other first impressions.

Is there a place on a property you own or are familiar with, where permeable paving might be an option?*

If you selected "Yes" to the question above, which of the following factors would drive your decision to choose permeable pavement?
Choose all that apply.

Are there other factors that would drive your decision to choose permeable pavement?

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey.

If you have any thoughts about how we can be better stewards of our property, please contact the Horticulture Manager.

This project was completed in financial partnership with: