“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."
“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.
“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.
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.”
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.
“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.”
“Once you get started with any new process, you get feedback that generates ‘collisions of ideas’. The processes get better and the products become stronger. And that is what we are seeing in the City. Push-back from developers declined once they saw what a rain garden looked like for the first time. From all perspectives, it gets easier and easier with each successive installation,” concludes Peter Navratil.
"Rain gardens at elementary schools improve fish habitat in Delta’s waterways by promoting infiltration of rainwater runoff. A ‘Rain Gardeners’ curriculum-based education program for Grade 4 and 5 students accompanies the rain garden construction. These ‘rain gardeners’ connect to their local watershed and raise awareness as to how everyday actions may impact nearby watercourses," states Sarah Howie.
“The video series is designed to show what individual house owners can do to manage rainfall, reduce their water footprint and minimize surface runoff from their property. At the neighbourhood scale, we feature municipal innovations that deal with roads and parking lot runoff; and at the watershed scale, we address the cumulative effects and the options to reduce all impacts from urban activities,” explains Julie Wilson.
“The mission is to change environmental behaviour through education and the creation of public art,” says Louise Towell. “The ‘fish on fences’ program creates awareness of a school’s local watershed through experiential learning."
A scenario comparison tool to assess green infrastructure effectiveness, achieve a lighter 'water footprint' and protect stream health. Learn More
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