What Streamkeepers Can Do to Inform Local Government Decision-Makers: North Vancouver workshop attracted participants from communities throughout the Metro Vancouver region (March 2017)
Note to Reader:
In March 2017, the 2nd annual North Vancouver workshop organized by the North Shore Streamkeepers attracted participants from communities throughout the Metro Vancouver region, and on a Saturday afternoon! To support the workshop organizers, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC prepared a downloadable document that served both as a workshop handout and a legacy resource. It provides context for the workshop and watershed-based action.
What Happens on the Land
The North Shore municipalities in the Metro Vancouver region of British Columbia are mountainside communities. They are defined by the wilderness at the top, the water at the bottom, and the creek channels that connect the two. The stewardship history and ethic are embedded in the community fabric. The rainwater lens is integral to the form and character of land development because stream health matters.
Sustainable Watershed Systems,
through Asset Management
On March 18th 2017, the North Shore Streamkeepers group hosted a workshop for community leaders and groups from North Vancouver and from around the Metro Vancouver region. The workshop informed participants about Sustainable Watershed Systems: Primer on Application of Ecosystem-based Understanding in the Georgia Basin.
“Informed stream stewardship volunteers can spur local government decision-makers to capitalize on (and not miss) opportunities to implement whole-system, water balance practices,” stated Kim Stephens, keynote speaker for the workshop and author of the Primer. He is the Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability. He introduced the audience to the vision for Sustainable Watershed Systems, through Asset Management.
Journey to a Water-Resilient Future
“Our read of the audience was that they were engaged (we never lost them) and that most learned new and useful things. So many were taking notes! Breakout groups were asked to identify possible community actions that can support a sustained focus on improving watersheds. Great ideas emerged from the breakout discussions,” stated Glen Parker, workshop co-organizer.
“Afterwards, many people expressed their appreciation for the information, the ability to discuss their ideas, and for the networking that occurred.”
“We believe that if the workshop helps raise community awareness about watershed issues, while at the same time educating decision-makers, then the outcome will be better decisions.”
Value Watersheds as Infrastructure Assets
“Streamkeepers come from all walks of life. They are ordinary people who are willing to be trained, spend their free time monitoring and improving streams and waterways. They have an interest in local history, ecology, and lifestyle,” explained Barbara Frisken, President of the North Shore Streamkeepers (NSSK).
“Our objective in hosting the workshop was to raise awareness about ways to better manage rainwater runoff, maintain stream health and support watershed-based plans. The workshop introduced community members to a vision for Sustainable Watershed Systems and what it means to value watersheds as infrastructure elements.”
To Learn More:
Download Stormwater Impacts Communities and Creeks – What Can Streamkeepers Do? to read the complete story about the workshop program and desired outcomes.