Naturalizing Right-of-Way Front Yards

This week the Transportation Committee approved a motion that could facilitate sustainable community gardening in the City-owned portion of front yards.

The motion supports a comprehensive review of by-laws that eventually could support the development of gardening and naturalization in the City-owned right-of-way by local residents and community groups.

By providing residents and community associations with the option to soft landscape in the right-of-way, otherwise referred to as “boulevard gardening”, the City can better supports biodiversity and improve the livability of communities, while strengthening its environmental policies and objectives.

Because the City of Ottawa declared a climate emergency it is important that the municipality take substantive action to support native plant species, pollinators and aid in controlling rainwater runoff. 

The motion, introduced by Councillor Laura Dudas at Transportation Committee, in conjunction with Councillor Rawlson King, will ensure that a comprehensive review is undertaken to encourage the sustainable care of the City’s public spaces.  The motion received unanimous approval at Committee: 

That the Transportation Committee recommend Council approve that staff report back to Committee in 2023 with the results of a comprehensive review as to the feasibility of permitting resident or community group landscaping projects within the Right of Way, as well as recommendations concerning its implementation, including any necessary internal resources, by-law amendments, associated procedural and permitting requirements, and an analysis or recommendation of any broader programs or funding that could support the above framework. 

The motion was made possible by the support and research many individuals and community groups, including For Our Kids Ottawa/Gatineau and the Ottawa South Eco-Action Network (OSEAN), who worked collaboratively to advance front yard beautification while enhancing the City’s green spaces and biodiversity. 


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