Nature Knows No Boundaries – A Guide to Green Choices in British Columbia


Laura tate - making green choices


Doing Business Differently in BC

To help local governments continue the extensive work they are already doing in fostering green communities, the Ministry of Community Development has developed A Guide to Green Choices to provide practical advice and ideas in making land use decisions.

Released in September 2008, this Guide is expected to work in tandem with many A guide to green choices (180p)other provincial programs and projects already underway, including Living Water Smart, the BC Climate Action Plan and the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia, An over-arching goal of these initiatives is to encourage land and water managers and users to do business differently.


Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Series

The Water Sustainability Action Plan comprises inter-connected program elements that give local governments and practitioners the tools and experience to better manage land and water resources.  

One of the Action Plan program elements is the 2008 Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Seminar Series, a precedent-setting provincial pilot for building practitioner capacity. Two sets of three seminars each were held in the Summer and Fall in the Cowichan and Comox valleys, respectively.


Facilitating Alignment and Collaboration:

The City of Courtenay was the host municipality for the Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series. The final seminar in the series included a segment on A Guide to Green Choices. A presentation by Laura Tate, principal author of the Guide, set the scene for a Table Topic Group Exercise that addressed this topic:

  • Tell us what you have learned from this series that will now help you do what you could not have done before.

Participants were asked to identify specific actions that would align local government efforts and facilitate regional collaboration. To read a comprehensive Water Bucket story about the seminar content, click on Nature Knows No Boundaries: Moving Toward a Vision for Living Water Smart.

Courtenay seminar #3- table topic collage


Making Green Choices

Laura Tate is with the Ministry of Community Development and is the Manager, Vancouver Island Growth Strategies. In this role, Laura collaborates with regional districts and provides support from the Ministry perspective. Laura opened her presentation by providing context for A Guide to Green Choices.

“We have a series of initiatives within the Ministry that are integrated with other Courtenay seminar #3 -  laura tate (180p)broader provincial initiatives,” stated Laura Tate. “These are seeking to help us build green communities in our province..We all benefit from having attractive, liveable communities…with a healthy natural environment.”

Laura then elaborated on the four different pieces of the puzzle that her Ministry is tackling as part of its Green Communities Initiative. The Water Sustainability Action Plan is nested under this initiative.

Courtenay seminar #3- green initiatives

Link to YouTube Video:

To capture the flavour of presentations at the Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar, video clips have been uploaded to YouTube. The maximum length is 10 minutes. To view the presentation by Laura Tate, click on the small image below.

Courtenay seminar #3-  laura tate (128p)Laura Tate introduced the four pieces of the puzzle that comprise Green Communities Initiatives. She then described what is in A Guide to Green Choices. “We are providing local government with the infomation to make better decisions,” she said.


PowerPoint Presentation:

The YouTube video is complemented by a PowerPoint presentation that can be viewed by clicking on Nature Knows No Boundaries – A Guide to Green Choices

Courtenay seminar #3 -  laura tate  - key messages

To read a companion story about this new provincial document, click on A Guide to Green Choices: Ideas & Practical Advice for Land Use Decisions in Britsh Columbia Communities — Ministry of Community Development document is expected to work in tandem with many other programs and projects.


Courtenay seminar #3- audience

About the Learning Lunch Seminar Series

The Learning Lunch Seminar Series promotes a consistent provincial approach to rainwater management and green infrastructure. The program is being implemented through CAVI…which is the acronym for Convening for Action on Vancouver Island. In 2008, participating Vancouver Island local governments represented some 250,000 people.

  • The Cowichan Valley series comprised a set of three sessions held during the June – July 2008 period. For links to each seminar in the series, click here.
  • The Comox Valley series comprised a set of three sessions held during the September – November 2008 period. To learn more, click on List of Water Bucket Stories.

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. The Seminar Series is part of the implementation program for  Beyond the Guidebook: The New Business As Usual, and is precedent-setting in its scope.

View royal - create a legacy


Who is CAVI?

The CAVI Partnership comprises the British Columbia Water & Waste Association, the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, the provincial Ministries of Environment and Community Development, and the Green Infrastructure Partnership. CAVI is co-funded by the Province and the Real Estate CAVI logo - june 2008 revised (240p)Foundation of British Columbia. The Water Sustainability Committee of the BCWWA is the managing partner and is providing program delivery. For more information about the CAVI Partnership and what it wants to do, please click here




Posted December 2008