The Story Behind the Story of the Hastings Creek Watershed Blueprint: “It Started With a Culvert Project”



Note to Reader:

In Metro Vancouver, the spotlight is on a “course correction” in the way Integrated Stormwater Management Plans (i.e. “ISMPs”) are developed and implemented. The Hastings Creek Watershed Blueprint is a demonstration application of the “ISMP Course Correction”. North Vancouver is showing how to leverage more with the same resources.

To download a copy of the “Story of Hastings Creek”, click on A Watershed Blueprint for Hastings Creek: Creating the Future in the District of North Vancouver.

The Hastings Creek story is the first in a series of Watershed Blueprint Case Profiles that will form part of the inter-regional curriculum for cross-fertilizing local government experience within the Georgia Basin.


Hastings Creek co-champions: Richard Boase (L), Environmental Protection Officer, and Ariel Estrada (R), Project Engineer


Share the Vision; Implement

Experience shows that bridging the gap between awareness and action in local government requires that three critical success factors be in alignment: organizational/political commitment; an internal champion who provides energy and leadership and stimulates willingness to change; and trust between individuals and departments.

Richard Boase and Ariel Estrada are the Hasting Creek Watershed Blueprint co-champions. Richard is the District’s Environmental Protection Officer; and Ariel is the Project Engineer responsible for drainage infrastructure. Their long-term working relationship has built the foundation for an on-the-ground understanding of what is needed to restore watershed and stream health, what is possible and how to implement change.


Integration of Engineering, Planning and Environmental Perspectives

“We started to collaborate on projects over a decade ago,” recalls Ariel Estrada. “It all started with a simple culvert replacement project. We concluded that my technical engineering responsibilities and Richard’s role in environmental protection needed to complement each other. We immediately started to learn from each other. We gained an appreciation for each other’s challenges and have walked in each other’s shoes ever since.”

“We always look for ways to do a better job, apply technology effectively and efficiently, and save the District money. This is the philosophy that we have brought to the Hastings Creek Blueprint,” stresses Richard Boase.

“Our watershed-based approach captures the stewardship ethic which is deeply rooted in the North Vancouver community. In our jobs, Ariel and I deal with the unintended consequences of changes in land use. A key goal in problem-solving is striving to balance environmental protection and sustainability with community drainage and flood protection.”

“Through an evolving process of integrating interdisciplinary perspectives, we are planning habitat and watershed enhancements that can be realized through the redevelopment process,” concludes Ariel Estrada.


The Story Behind the Story:

To learn more about Richard Boase and Ariel Estrada, click on Part A – The Story Behind the Story of a Watershed / Landscape-Based Approach to Commmunity Planning in North Vancouver.

To access the homepage for the Hastings Creek Watershed Blueprint, click here.


In the absence of a life-cycle approach to asset management, local governments bear the entire financial burden to stabilize and restore watercourses impacted by increased runoff volume after land is developed or redeveloped