St. George Street Rainway in the City of Vancouver: Community-Scale Project Enhances Resiliency
Note to Reader:
On December 3, 2013 the Partnership for Water Sustainability and the Irrigation Industry Association of BC (IIABC) are co-hosting a workshop that will explore regulatory requirements, water balance benefits and practical applications of rainwater harvesting design and operation. The workshop is structured as four cascading modules.
In the second of four modules, the team of Kirk Stinchcombe, Carolyn Drugge and Richard Boase will speak to the benefits of utilizing rainwater as a resource in the urban environment. Below is a preview of the perspective that Carolyn Drugge will provide when she talks about community-scale initiatives that are designed to enhance resilience in the system and in the community.
TO REGISTER for the workshop, go to the IIABC website: https://www.irrigationbc.com/irrigation/courses/view_scheduled/119
TO DOWNLOAD a copy of the Program Overview, click on Get Your Mind Into the Gutter: A Workshop on Rainwater Harvesting in British Columbia.
East Side Group Aims to Recreate Lost Stream with Rainwater Runoff
A community group wants a historic waterway in Mount Pleasant to flow again along St. George Street within the City of Vancouver. Their hope is to recreate the creek with rainwater runoff along St. George from Kingsway to East Fifth Avenue.
“The St George Rainway is a community-led project to redesign seven blocks of urban residential road space to remember and celebrate a lost stream, increase opportunities for community gardening, sharing, performance, and art,” explains Carolyn Drugge, Senior Policy Analyst for the City of Vancouver’s Water & Sewer Division.
“The community has painted a mural on the roadway to acknowledge one of the many salmon streams that historically flowed in what we now call Vancouver. Community members have also built, together with the Vancouver Society of Storytelling, a bench to mark the ‘headwaters’ of te Stetlew, the little creek that ran along what is now known as St. George Street.”
“At the Get Your Mind Into the Gutter Workshop on December 3rd, I will talk about how we were able to re-direct the community’s energy for opening up a sewer pipe to a plan that would use rainwater collected from the street to support ephemeral water features.”
Supporting a Healthy Watershed in Vancouver
“How are we capturing rainwater and dealing with it properly in a way that not only enhances our urban environment with green and blue spaces, increases biodiversity and actively contributes to Vancouver becoming one of the greenest cities in the world by 2020,” said Shahira Sakiyama, community liaison for the St. George Rainway Project group.
Sakiyama said architectural designer Bryn Davidson’s thesis project from 2004 about St. George Creek was a finalist in a city design competition in 2004. Educator and poet Rita Wong discovered his project in 2009 and the pair organized an event with historian Bruce Macdonald in 2010 that spurred efforts to recreate the creek.
“Elementary students mainly from Mount Pleasant have learned about streams, created related art projects and a community parade. The St. George Rainway project is meant to be a community-building project as much as it is an engineering project,” explained Shahira Sakiyama.
To Learn More:
To download an article published by the Vancouver Courier newspaper, click on East Side group aims to recreate lost stream with rainwater runoff.
To access the website for the St George Rainway, click on http://mtpleasantwatershed.wordpress.com/