RMSi Experience in Canada

Regional Municipality of York

Nature's Classroom Program Delivery and Refinement and Social Media Content Creation

This project involves working with the Region's Forestry group in administering and delivering over 45 interpretive forest hikes and events annually to a variety of community groups. In addition to the original project deliverables, RMSi was asked to conduct an in-depth analysis of existing and proposed programs as part of the Nature's Classroom with the Region's Forestry Department through market analysis and target audience characterization. The completed program refinement plan with associated marketing strategy will be applied to the program moving forward to increase program uptake and engage new audiences. Additional projects completed for this contract included; updates for interpretation programs, social media content development and partner scan for environmental education programming partnerships.

Water Efficiency and Conservation Education Program

The team from Resource Management Strategies Inc. (RMSi) project managed and delivered services for York Region’s water efficiency and conservation education project from 2010 through to 2014. The primary objective of this project was to develop, deliver and review the Water for Tomorrow public education program on water efficiency and conservation as well as associated tracking, monitoring and reporting. Program deliverables include the development of a Community Based Social Marketing program strategy, deliver 1,000 residential landscape visits per year (2010-2013), coordinate, manage and deliver seminars, booths at community events, provide presentations at various public and community events, manage the maintenance of water-efficient demonstration gardens, and complete monitoring to confirm the water savings associated with the residential landscape visits.

Water Efficiency Program Implementation

From 2005 to 2010, the team from Resource Management Strategies Inc. (RMSi) were responsible for managing and delivering services for York Region’s water efficiency project. As a continuation of the Water for Tomorrow program started in 1997, accomplishments of the program included an estimated savings of 22.4 million litres of water per daily, which was 18% over the target of the project. The project stayed significantly under budget. One of the main challenges of managing this project in a two-tier municipal setting was building and maintaining positive relations with the nine area municipalities to ensure a successful outcome. The main components of the York Region water efficiency project were residential/commercial toilet and shower head retrofits, public education, youth education and summer water use reduction program.

Multi-Family Solid Waste Diversion Study

RMSi completed a Community-based Social Marketing for three-stream waste management in the multi-family sector. Qualitative and quantitative research was undertaken including one-on-one resident interviews, resident surveys, in-suite audits and comprehensive building waste audits. Two York Housing Inc. high rise buildings were selected and included in this project.  Reporting provided current attitudes, habits and barriers of the residents in York Housing's high rise multi family buildings towards waste disposal and recommendations for the implementation of a pilot three-stream waste management program.

Regional Municipality of Waterloo

Water Efficient Gardening Seminars, Webinar, Educational Materials and Staff Training

RMSi has been coordinating and facilitating water efficient gardening seminars for the Region of Waterloo annually since 2006. The focus of this activity is to provide a series of water-efficient gardening seminars and associated educational literature to the residents of the Region of Waterloo. Each seminar features a well-known speaker who provides practical and useful advice on implementing water efficient landscapes.  Landscape kits and DVD's  have been developed, designed and printed in support the program.   Each spring, RMSi provides training on water efficient landscaping techniques to Regional summer staff that incorporates Community-based Social Marketing techniques. The series continues to gain momentum each year with seminars getting fully booked each year, with waiting lists.  

Let's Curb Pesticides - Retail Partner Training

RMSi was contracted by the Regional Municipality of Waterloo to provide specialized training sessions for partner retailers to provide the tools required to successfully market pesticide  alternatives to the general public. The training has three components; the first component addressed natural lawn care, problems solving and pesticide alternatives, the second component introduced staff to products that are available to customers that are a natural alternative to common pesticides and the third component discussed fertilizer, including weed 'n feed products and alternatives.  

City of Guelph, Ontario 

Healthy Landscapes Program Refinement Action Plan

RMSi conducted a review of the Healthy Landscapes Program including analysis of residential summer water use patterns and program uptake to establish an Refinement Action Plan for the program to better target and engage high summer water users. The plan included the identification and prioritization of target audiences, development of language and context for the website, educational materials and program promotions, social media recommendations and outlines for Community based Social Marketing pilot programs.

RMSi coordinates an annual series of gardening seminars for Guelph which continues to see increases in attendance and interest by residents, in particular, the prime target audience identified in the Action Plan.  In addition to the seminars, website content revisions and social media content were developed for use by the Healthy Landscapes Program.

City of Toronto

Summer Water Use Reduction Program

RMSi project managed the City of Toronto’s Residential Water Efficient Landscape Visit Program 2005 through to 2010. Over 8,000 residential water efficient landscape visits were completed. In addition, over thirty-five water efficient gardening seminars and three demonstration gardens have been facilitated.

Landscape visit participant surveys completed at the end of each year indicated a very high participant satisfaction rate of 99%. 67% of the surveyed participants claim to have implemented some of the water saving recommendations while the remaining 33% said that it was just a matter of time. The lawn maintenance and watering education component of the visit proved to be highly effective, with 32% of the surveyed participants stating that they have immediately lowered the amount of water that they apply to their lawns. Over 8% of the respondents claim to have stopped watering their lawns altogether.

Monitoring and evaluation activities were undertaken in the form of daily meter reading of participants and non-participants water meters. The results of this study indicated an average summer day saving of 227 litres per household.

Regional Municipality of Niagara 

Smart Gardening Pilot 

RMSi was approached by the Regional Municipality of Niagara to assist with the development and implementation of a smart gardening home visit program. This innovative program addressed five different components of sustainable landscaping; waste diversion, water efficiency, pesticide reduction, storm water control and management and public health. The program featured before and after surveys to document behavioral changes in landscaping practices, providing measurable results for the success of the program.  Over 700 homes were visited during the one year pilot program. 

The program results indicated that 540 kilograms of lawn clippings were going to be diverted from landfills annually and there was an increase of rain barrel purchases by 40%.  Of those participants that watered their lawns, 29% stated that were going to reduce their lawn watering following the visit. Participants reported using 248 less Nitrogen and 82 kg less Phosphorous fertilizer on their lawns since the visit. 

City of Abbotsford, British Columbia 

Water Efficiency Training and Manual Development 

RMSi assisted Smart Watering Systems in the development of a comprehensive water efficient landscape training program for the Efficicent Irrigation and Landscape Assessment program staff at the City of Abbotsford in British Columbia.

To complement the program, a comprehensive water efficient landscape manual for residents was developed. The "Landscape and Irrigation Guide to Water Efficiency" manual addresses all aspects of a water efficient landscape including soil analysis, site preparation and planning, design, plant selection and maintenance.

International RMSi Experience 

Welsh Water

Residential Assessments Pilot Program

RMSi completed a residential assessment program for Welsh Water. This pilot program includes the on-site assessment of over 900 properties. Cost-effective water saving measures are then identified using the compiled data. In addition, most of the properties have received and installed a toilet tank displacement device over the past few years. The effectiveness of this device was evaluated, showing positive water saving results. The results of this pilot program will be utilized to develop a comprehensive system-wide residential program.

Trinidad and Tobago

Water Use Survey

As part of the Water and Wastewater Management Plan for WASA in Trinidad and Tobago, RMSi completed the coordination, development and analysis of a qualitative market research survey. The survey was conducted to determine the type, repair and condition of water using appliances as well as attitudes and behaviors to water efficiency and conservation.