The ‘Boyce-Gyro Park Bio-swale Pilot Project’ aims to effectively manage stormwater for a highly popular beach park parking lot through the use of planted bio-swales as part of a 2017 capital project for the City of Kelowna. The capital project, ‘Boyce-Gyro Park Parking Lot Improvements’ includes the partial closure of Watt Road and reconfiguration of the existing temporary parking lot. This will provide 130 permanent stalls and a drop off area immediately adjacent to this waterfront park, avoiding the need for pedestrians to cross any roads. The multi-use trail along Lakeshore Drive will be extended past the parking lot and will feature a new addition to the public art collection. In addition, a smaller inefficiently laid out parking lot at the other end of the park will be removed and will be returned to valuable beach front space for park reclamation.
Currently, no City parking lots are equipped with planted bio-swales that manage stormwater. The City does, however, have two locations where roadside bio-swales have been installed and are filtering run-off.
These swales are both on a permanent irrigation system. The ‘Boyce-Gyro Park Bio-Swale Pilot Project’ would strive to eliminate or significantly reduce any permanent irrigation of the parking lot’s landscaping, while at the same time reducing requirements on existing stormwater infrastructure – managing water where it falls.
Water conserved through the application of xeric landscaping practices would be measured and recorded, with the option to relay this information to the public in some way. There is a high volume of visitors to the park, therefore the location for these bio-swales and any associated monitoring would have a great reach to the public in terms of providing education as well as setting an example for stormwater management in the Okanagan Valley.