DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: Delta’s Rain Garden Program for Urban Landscape Enhancement – Sustaining the Legacy through the Second Decade and Beyond (released June 2020) – “Like any good relationship, successful collaboration thrives on long-term commitment, by both local government and citizen volunteers,” stated Deborah Jones, Rain Gardens Coordinator, Cougar Creek Streamkeepers
Note to Reader:
Deborah Jones is a volunteer. For the past 15 years, she has been instrumental in the highly collaborative and very, very successful City of Delta rain garden program. She personifies an actionable vision driven by leadership that mobilizes people and partnerships.
The City of Delta is midway through the second decade of its rain garden program. Thus, Deborah Jones has the perspective of time as she looks back in order to look ahead. Her reflections are NOT about the technical details of creating rain gardens. Of far more value, her reflections transcend the ‘technical’ by focusing on the social (that is, people) dimension. The latter ultimately determines the long-term success (or failure) of any program.
DELTA’S RAIN GARDEN PROGRAM: The Second Decade
“Deborah Jones presents three key ideas. She also coins two acronyms to capture what she has learned through experience: FOPE and FOUMO,”states Kim Stephens, Executive Director, the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.
“The article is more than acronyms. Deborah Jones concludes with an idea which is her call to action: “It is time to seek a better balance between ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ approaches to stormwater management,” she says.
“Her article echoes and reinforces the theme articulated previously by Paul Chapman, Chair of the Vancouver Island Symposia Series on Water Stewardship: Build on the passion and actions of champions by building a culture of stewardship.”
To Learn More:
What Makes for Successful Collaborative Rain Garden Projects?
“Like any good relationship, successful collaboration thrives on long-term commitment, by both local government and citizen volunteers,” states Deborah Jones, Rain Gardens Coordinator, Cougar Creek Streamkeepers.
“The City of Delta has shown political commitment at the highest levels, and staff commitment to valuing the input of frontline volunteers, trusting us to make suitable day-to-day maintenance decisions, and providing us with reasonable material support.
“Streamkeeper groups wanting to collaborate with local government on a rain garden should be sure they have the energy and personpower to stick with it for at the very least 3 years, while the garden gets established.”
Author’s Perspective on Process and Time
“Looking back, I see now that the rain garden program evolved gradually, in the manner of any good garden — from early conversations in 1999, through the first rain garden in 2006, to the 29 school and community rain gardens in 2019,” Deborah Jones stated in a moment of reflection. The passage of time provides perspective, and opens eyes to the distance travelled as compared to the distance still to go to reach the destination.