Hydrologic regulating services of non-woody grassed and meadow urban landscapes

Due to urbanization in the GTA, many green areas are replaced by impervious infrastructure, preventing runoff infiltration and increasing flood risks. The Meadoway project proposed by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) aims to restore meadow habitats with native plants along a hydro-corridor over 16 km across Scarborough, which can potentially improve the runoff retention and reduction capacity of the land due to the larger and longer roots, greater root density, and different evapotranspiration patterns of native plants compared with pre-restored turf and non-native cultural meadows. The proposed research will investigate the hydrologic response of meadows to storm events compared with turf lands, hardscaping, and potentially non- native cultural meadows. Laboratory rainfall simulation will be conducted upon intact soil columns collected from the field to mimic hydrologic process including rainfall, runoff, infiltration, and subsurface discharge. The results of the study can help TRCA develop plans for long-term assessment and aid the planning and management of future restoration project.

Faculty Supervisor:

Jennifer Drake


Ke Qin


Toronto and Region Conservation Authority


Engineering - civil



University of Toronto



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