2013 Brownfields Projects
City of Kingston, Ontario
Belle Park Specialty Tree Planting and Associated Landscaping Project
Project duration: 2007‒ongoing
Total project value: $365,000
The City of Kingston planted hybrid poplars in the former landfill site of Belle Park to reduce leachate seepage into the river.
Belle Park is a 44-hectare, multi-use recreational space. The city uses pumps and extraction wells to capture leachate where it visibly flows into the river. The city planted 12,500 hybrid poplar trees and over 16,000 live stakes, bareroot seedlings and potted shrubs to capture leachate from a wider area and reach hidden leachate in groundwater. The water-loving poplars pull in large volumes of groundwater and lock away many of the contaminants.
This innovative and natural approach has proven to be the most cost-effective way of capturing the greatest amount of leachate. Less leachate is now making its way into the river, and in the long term, the trees will reduce the city's reliance on the pump and treat systems.
- The trees needed extra care in the former landfill environment. Traditional irrigation levels could not be used because of leachate seepage.
- Planting so many trees while the park was open meant educating users about special consideration in the planting areas.
- The trees needed protection from weeds and wildlife, as well as labour-intensive care to avoid using pesticides and herbicides in the first couple of years.
- Plant trees early in the rainy season, before the summer heat, to encourage growth in a harsh former landfill environment.
- Select ornamental plants that will thrive alongside the trees, and select tree varieties that are disease-resistant.
- Implement measures early in the process for more cost-effective control of weeds and wildlife.
- Recruit community volunteers to help with ground preparation and planting.
Partners and collaboration
- Kingston Department of Recreation and Leisure
- Kingston Department of Operations
- Kingston Environmental Advisory Forum (KEAF)
- Ontario Ministry of the Environment
- Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
- Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada