British Columbia’s “Topsoil Law & Policy Primer” – Bowker Creek Forum in Victoria was the venue for provincial launch



On February 23, 2010, the Bowker Creek Forum in Victoria celebrated urban watershed management successes in the Georgia Basin, and was the venue for the formal release of the Topsoil Law and Policy and Technical Primer Set.

Bowker creek forum - feb 2010


Inter-Municipal Collaboration

Developed by the Green Infrastructure Partnership, the ‘Topsoil  Primer Set’ synthesizes the pioneering experience of the City of Courtenay, City of Surrey and District of North Vancouver. To download copies of the two Primers, click on:

Susan Rutherford of West Coast Environmental Law and Rémi Dubé of the City of Surrey were the co-leads for the topsoil initiative. Susan synthesized the experience of participating municipalities in order to create the Law & Policy Primer.

Topsoil primer set - cover

From Policy Objective to Implementation

“The Topsoil Primer Set is an example of the kind of concerted planning, thinking and action that is needed to move from a green infrastructure objective to implementation Susan rutherford (120p)on the ground,” stated Susan Rutherford.

“My hope is that the Bowker Creek Forum will be a catalyst for moving from vision to action; and local governments will focus on how to link the practical steps with the policy tools to get people there.”

To download a copy of Susan’s PowerPoint presentation, click on Just How Do You Obtain a Performing Topsoil Layer for Rainwater Infiltration – Law & Policy Primer (0.4MB PDF)

What the Law and Policy Primer Covers

“The topsoil primer is one iteratiion of a green infrastructure objective. There is a whole world of things you might do for low impact development…. or water-centric development. Understanding that what you are doing is in a larger context is important. Often the poilcy context will reflect senior government and regional objectives.”

To view a YouTube video clip of Susan Rutherford explaining the scope of the Primer, click here. (1:21 minutes)

Topsoil law & policy primer - presentation outline

Implementation through Regulation

“A key element in terms of implementing a green infrastructure project, in particular a performing topsoil layer, is the regulations. The real backdrop for local government is achieving compliance without having to enforce it. The key to that is education and outreach. The most important thing to do when launching a program is to ensure that people understand what you are trying to do.”

To view a YouTube video clip of Susan Rutherford explaining the elements of an implementation strategy, click here. (3:29 minutes)

Topsoil law & policy primer - regulations

To Learn More

A series of stories published on the Water Bucket website tells the story of the development, launching and application of the Topsoil Primer Set. To learn more, click on “Topsoil Primer Set” connects the dots between rainwater management and drought management

Green infrastructure partnership - logo - feb 2010 version

Posted March 2010