Boulevard Bylaw Reform

Another success story! For Our Kids Ottawa/Gatineau has been advocating to change Ottawa city bylaws so that residents can replace the grass in boulevards and right-of-way areas with native plants, returning those areas to a more natural state.

We're happy to share that a motion was approved at the Transportation Committee meeting on May 4! For Our Kids parent Raewyn Khosla delegated at that meeting and you can find her delegation around the 3-minute mark of this video:

The city approved this motion at their May council meeting!

Next step: Wait for the draft bylaw changes to come out in 2023 (and start planning garden beds!)

Read more here about how we made this happen!

Why is this important?

Communities across Canada and around the world have recognized the value of naturalizing urban spaces, and have revised their policies and bylaws to make it happen. Replacing grass with plants native to the area will:

  • mitigate the impact of climate change by absorbing significantly more carbon and improving water retention

  • reduce the need to maintain grass with gas-powered mowers and improve air quality

  • protect biodiversity by creating much-needed habitats for pollinators and at-risk species

  • minimize water runoff and flooding, and

  • improve physical and mental health by connecting people more directly with natural environments  


Here's the original letter sent to Councillor King outlining the rationale for bylaw changes

And here's the resource document we provided to Councillors and city staff

Here's CBC coverage of the issue from July 13

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