On the evening of September 20, 2021, Tys Theijsmeijer, head of natural lands, peered over the edge of a steep cliff in Hendrie Park that hadn’t been there the day before. Below was a washout of over 1,000 cubic metres of soil that had once formed a stable hillside.
It was the result of major storm events that caused unusually heavy and persistent rainfalls that ended up overwhelming an existing stormwater pipe. The rainwater loosened the sandy soil of the hillside and it collapsed into the valley, burying the edge of the lower Woodland Garden and silting up the nearby wetlands. Left untouched, the hillside would continue to slump and suffocate the valley ecosystem, while cutting off access to Hendrie Park.
Luckily Tys knew who could prevent this situation — a slippery slope, so to speak — from getting worse. King Paving and Construction are experts at slope stabilization projects and supporting hillsides. Like RBG, King Paving has a long and rich history. It was founded in 1928 and is a well-respected, family-owned Burlington business. They have been working with RBG for over a decade on various paving and building projects across our properties.
John Hutter, president of King Paving, and his staff recognized the urgency of this situation. They dropped everything and immediately mobilized their staff and heavy equipment, and the slope was stabilized before more damage was done.
“The incredible priority response we received from King Paving, and the in-house design collaboration was critical to a quick restabilizing of the slope. This prevented further erosion of the hillside into Hendrie Park’s wetlands,” says Tys. “To their credit, this project was completed in very challenging conditions with near-record amounts of rain falling in October and November 2021. Our follow-up monitoring during 2022 has demonstrated that the repairs have been a fantastic success and the hillside naturalization is going well. A big thank you to John and everyone at King Paving for helping preserve Hendrie Park and Valley.”
Although King Paving and Construction’s help during this recent crisis was significant, they also support RBG in other ways. In 2022, they became a leading sponsor for the upcoming Winter Wonders holiday event at RBG.
John explained, “As I have come to know RBG better, and understand all the ways it serves the community, I am happy to pitch in. The beautiful gardens and extensive natural lands at RBG are an amazing resource for everyone. I know that over the past two years, RBG’s Winter Wonders event helped families get outside to celebrate the winter season despite the pandemic. This year it’s going to be even bigger, and I am proud to sponsor this wonderful event. I encourage other businesses to support RBG as well and become sponsors.”