Track 2 Day 2: Bolton


Restoring Natural Landscapes in Urban Areas

Thursday March 26, 2020
1:30 to 2:00 p.m. (Hall F)


Over time, restoration practices have evolved to reflect a more integrated approach in which multiple techniques are utilized to achieve greater gains in overall natural system health.

Current restoration objectives are rooted in improving ecological function, increasing natural cover, and providing new habitat opportunities for fish and wildlife.

Previous restoration practices often focused on rehabilitating isolated features to solve a singular issue, with little consideration for associated cover types or features within surrounding areas. A more holistic approach to natural channel design is critical to achieving strengthened natural system resiliency, especially in urban and near urban land-uses.

A reach-based approach to restoration includes design and implementation considerations that include a more natural stream alignment accounting for varying flow regimes, bank stabilization, natural channel migration, storm water management, wildlife habitat structures, riparian planting, and public use.

This presentation will look at Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) approach to natural channel design and implementation, by providing an overview of current design considerations and construction practices.

Examples will include a look at completed projects of channel re-naturalization and valley restoration to demonstrate how different techniques are applied in overall design and construction to achieve successful project outcomes.


Learning Objectives

1. Learn how to better design natural channel systems to function with the surrounding landscapes through a reach-based approach rather than with end-of-pipe solutions.

2. Understand how to incorporate natural features not only for erosion protection, but also habitat enhancement, and how this helps to improve ecological function of the entire system while providing stability and protection.

3. Learn about the different uses of habitat features, specifically use of natural wood (such as logs, rootwads, and stumps) in designs to enhance habitat and provide a variety of features for various wildlife.


Ryan Bolton

Ryan Bolton

Ryan Bolton is a Project Manager with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA).

With more than 10 years of experience in the restoration field, and working as part of a dynamic team, Ryan has implemented many projects, from natural channel restoration to shoreline and wetland restoration.

Ryan has managed numerous projects, providing effective techniques that have generated a positive effect in the restoration world.