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GreenLab logo and graphic of sports fields and seating area

The City of Waterloo's GreenLab pavilion at RIM Park demonstrates and teaches us about environmental best practices.

Located in the outdoor sports-field facility, the GreenLab is a great place to educate your kids and students about conservation. It has a green roof and an innovative water-harvesting system under the two artificial fields that stores rain to water the four natural fields.

Green roof

Illustration of the GreenLab's green roof 

The green roof on top of the pavilion uses rainwater to sustain its plants, to cool the building in the summer and to provide food for birds, bees and butterflies.

Water-harvesting system

The water-harvesting system recycles about 10-million litres of rain water each year - enough to fill four Olympic-sized pools - and saves us about $10,000 annually. By storing rain water, the system reduces the amount of water entering the storm-sewer system from the fields as well as the need to use treated water to irrigate the natural fields.

How it works

Illustration that depicts how the stormwater-harvesting system works 

When it rains, water "percolates" through the upper gravel layers beneath the artificial turf fields and is stored in the lower gravel level. Soil moisture sensors in the natural fields tell us when the grass needs watering. Then water is pumped from the storage system to water the fields. Each watering uses about 200,000 litres - the same amount you put in your backyard swimming pool.

Extra water after a storm or rainy period goes directly into two ponds near the fields, helping to nurture habitat for ducks, frogs, fish and other native animals and plants.

Teachers' guide

The GreenLab features elements from the grades 7 to 12 science and geography curriculums. We developed quizzes teachers can use in their classrooms.

Partial funding for the GreenLab was provided by TD Bank of Canada.

TD Bank of Canada logo