Celebrating Green Infastructure in the Metro Vancouver Region: “The goal of the inaugural Showcasing Innovation Series in 2006 was to build regional capacity in local government to design with nature,” stated Paul Ham, (former) Chair of the Green Infrastructure Partnership

“The 2006 Showcasing Innovation Series was a provincial pilot. When we talked to practitioners in local government, it doesn't matter what the region, the message was the same…they tell us that they are too busy to communicate with their colleagues in neighbouring municipalities. Yet the irony is that there is much to learn by sharing information with each other. At the end of the day, it seems that it takes a third party to bring people together," stated Paul Ham.

Neighbourhood character, rainwater management and regulatory change in West Vancouver

Property redevelopment and construction of McMansions were radically altering the residential landscape. This also impacts how, and how much, rainwater runoff reaches creeks. “The District of West Vancouver has undertaken to implement a requirement for site landscaping as part of both new development and the redevelopment of properties throughout the community,” states Jim Bailey.

“Ecosystem-based Adaptation” (EbA) – influence land use & infrastructure practices in urban watersheds

EbA, is a combination of two other significant concepts: EBM (ecosystem-based management) and climate change adaptation. “Adapting to climate change will require a combination of approaches, from man-made infrastructure to holistic approaches. British Columbia’s Stormwater Planning Guidebook promotes a holistic approach to rainwater management, which views rain as a resource and aims to mimic the natural hydrological cycle,” notes Julia Berry.

Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC informs Delta Council about inter-regional value of Delta’s rain garden program

“Storm Water Management innovation in BC is the result of not being overly regulated. Establish sound principles. Apply them. Adapt to the specific site conditions. Do not be too prescriptive, it may take away the opportunity for innovation," states Hugh Fraser. “Creating a watershed health legacy will ultimately depend on how well we are able to achieve rain water management improvements on both public and private sides of a watershed."

FLASHBACK TO 2005: Organized by Don Moore (1959-2008), the “Let It Rain Conference” Showcased a Vision for Green Infrastructure in BC

“Don’s hallmark at this stage in his career were his ‘green infrastructure’ initiatives, which he enthusiastically promoted at each of his development sites, including Turtle Mountain (Vernon) and Burke Mountain (Coquitlam),” recalls David Desrochers, his longtime friend and former colleague at the City of Vancouver. Don Moore was responsible for constructing the first ‘engineered rain garden’ in British Columbia.

Metro Vancouver Close Up (Video Series): District of North Vancouver’s Geoweb application is a useful tool for the public and municipal staff

“I get property owners almost every day with questions, queries, comments. – I can quickly go into Geoweb and bring that property up right away and not only take a look at the property, but I can take a look at the details. I use it daily. I don’t even think about it. It’s like email, I’m into Geoweb virtually every day," reports Mayor Richard Walton.

Metro Vancouver Close Up (Video Series): Delta Rain Gardens Put Precipitation on a Slow Road to the Ocean

Rain gardens are being created with the collaboration of the municipality and volunteers, in a wide variety of locations from parking lots to schools. “It’s just a win-win all the way around,” says Mayor Lois Jackson. “And it really leads into the future where urban areas can still be good places of habitat for fish and birds and bees and all those creatures that we seem to miss in a lot of urban areas.”

10 Years Ago: Don Moore organized the “Let It Rain Conference”

In March 2005 Douglas College hosted a conference on how to keep rainwater out of the pipes and get it back into the ground. The late Don Moore was the driving force in organizing the event. He was responsible for constructing the first ‘engineered rain garden’ in British Columbia. Don Moore was a commonsense practitioner; he was not captive to terminology. Part of his legacy is being the catalyst for looking at drainage differently in 2004.

Metro Vancouver Close Up (Video Series): Mimicking Nature is Key to Rainwater Collection in the City of Coquitlam

“One of the key elements of making a watershed work is addressing rainwater,” says Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart. “Allowing it to filter through the soils, allowing the proper biological processes rather than simply large catch basins and taking the water out by storm sewer. By really focusing on the health of the watershed, I think we can end up with a much healthier environment and a better community.”