Vancouver Island is the pilot region for the 2008 Learning Lunch Seminar Series
Program promotes consistent provincial approach to rainwater management and green infrastructure
The Learning Lunch Seminar Series is a precedent-setting approach to continuing education for local government practitioners; and in 2008 the Cowichan Valley Regional District and City of Courtenay were the host local governments for a pilot program that is being delivered under the umbrella of CAVI – Convening for Action on Vancouver Island. In total, the Vancouver Island local governments that participated represented some 250,000 people.
The Learning Lunch Seminar Series is the first step in building a regional team approach so that there will be a common understanding and consistent messaging regarding on-the-ground expectations for rainwater management and green infrastructure. This provincial initiative builds on the foundation provided by Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, published in 2002, and incorporates lessons learned over the past six years in moving from planning to action.
For the complete story about the Cowichan Valley and Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series, click on Convening for Action on Vancouver Island in 2008.
“Each session in the Learning Lunch Seminar Series started at 11:00am and ended at 2:30pm,” notes Peter Nilsen (Deputy Engineer, District of North Cowichan) of the Cowichan Valley Organizing Committee. “Our experience is that this is the right length of time to maintain the interest and energy level of participants. Three and a half hours sounds like a lot of time, but it goes quickly; and we were just scratching the surface in terms of the material that we presented.” The theme and scope of each session are summarized below:
Today’s Expectations are Tomorrow’s Standards: Session #1 traced the evolution of rainwater/stormwater management policies and practices over the past decade. This provided a frame-of-reference and a common understanding for subsequent sessions.
Legal and Policy Strategies to Support Green Infrastructure: Session #2 introduced the extensive and very specific tools available under the Local Government Act so that they can proactively manage the complete spectrum of rainfall events: from light showers to heavy rain to extreme storms. .
Establishing Watershed Performance Targets: Session #3 introduced a performance target approach to land development that makes sense, meets multiple objectives, is affordable, and results in net environmental benefits at a watershed scale.
“The series comprised three sessions that provided an inter-departmental learning opportunity for collaborative exploration. The series was conducted as a cumulative process, from philosophy to tools,” reports Kate Miller (Environmental Manager), Chair of the Cowichan Valley Organizing Committee.
“By spreading the curriculum over three sessions, this enabled participants to absorb the new information, blend it with their own experience, and eventually apply it in making decisions,” notes Kim Stephens, team leader and Program Coordinator for the Water Sustainability Action Plan.
For more detailed information on the series design, please click on the following link to download a copy of the Program Outline for Learning Lunch Seminar Series.
Posted July 2008