BROOKLYN CREEK ON VANCOUVER ISLAND: “The asset that we call Brooklyn Creek watershed stands testament to the power of partnerships and the value derived from those relationships,” stated Al Fraser, Town of Comox, in a session on ‘Beacons of Hope’ at the Parksville 2019 Symposium (watch on YouTube)
Note to Reader:
The Parksville 2019 Symposium has been captured in its entirety in a comprehensive set of videos that have been uploaded to the Partnership for Water Sustainability’s YouTube Channel for ease of access by those who are curious and/or interested to learn about what transpired on April 2-3-4 in Parksville, British Columbia.
On the second day of the 2-day Parksville 2019 Symposium, the “Comox hour” was an integrated presentation about the shared vision for restoration of Brooklyn Creek, a regional amenity (park) destination in the Comox Valley, in the mid Vancouver Island region.
Brooklyn Creek – Beacon of Hope
Brooklyn Creek is a small 1st order creekshed, about 8 km in length, whose hydrology and ecological services have been altered and degraded by decades of land use impacts.
Of three local governments with management authority over land use and conservation in the creekshed, only the Town of Comox has acted strategically for more than a decade to maintain (prevent degradation) and manage (enhance) the stream corridor and the available ecological services.
Truly a Team Effort
The Town’s actions through the parks, public works and planning departments in concert with the Brooklyn Creek Watershed Society reflect that these intervenors understand the worth of the package of ecological services provided by the creekshed.
Between 2005 and 2017, their shared vision for stream restoration led to a combined investment of more than $4 million to acquire, maintain and manage lands harbouring ecological systems and aesthetically-connected parks, greenways, trails and other recreational assets.
Through the multi-year strategy, the Town of Comox and its collaborators have provided a working example of understanding the worth of the creekshed, its hydrology, and ecological systems.
To Learn More:
Al Fraser and Marvin Kamenz of the Town of Comox teamed with Christine Hodgson of the Brooklyn Creek Watershed Society to tell the story of Brooklyn Creek. Their 37-minute presentation is posted on YouTube. Click on image below.
Download a PDF copy of the tag-team presentation titled A Tale of Two Watersheds in the Town of Comox: Base Decision-Making on Worth.
Download a copy of the Brooklyn Creek watershed brochure below.
Power of Partnerships
“A common thread at Parksville 2019 is that projects would not come to fruition unless there is a philosophy of partnerships at the forefront of everyone’s mind,” stated Al Fraser.
“When I look at the definition of partnership, and put it into the context of how it applies to the Brooklyn Creek storyline, the word that resonates most with me is participation.”
“Council members are passionate about what they see, and are supportive of funding requests. The Town’s financial commitment then leverages other sources of funding. This has a snowball effect. More citizens get involved when they see volunteers working in the creek.
“The participation that we have seen in Brooklyn Creek, and that continues to grow, is quite staggering. I believe that participation is borne by interest; and interest is borne by intuition, context, content and imagination.
“When I look back some 30 years and reflect on my involvement with Brooklyn Creek, I cannot help but remind myself that what we see today is truly a natural and remarkable community asset. It is loved and cared for by many. It is crafted by the determination and dedication of people and agencies willing to embrace opportunity, and work toward a common goal.
“The asset that we call Brooklyn Creek watershed stands testament to the power of partnerships and the value derived from those relationships.”
To Learn More:
For reflections about the relationship between the Town of Comox and the Brooklyn Creek Watershed Society, view the 10 minute presentation by Al Fraser (Parks Superintendent) that is posted on YouTube:
Citizen Science in Action
What Do You Wonder?
The story of Parksville 2019 is told in a magazine-style narrative titled “RE-CAP AND REFLECTIONS”.
The “re-cap and reflections” document was written for two audiences – first and foremost, for those who attended Parksville 2019 and wish to have an accessible and quotable reference document at their fingertips, so that they can share the story with others; and secondarily, for those who have heard about Parksville 2019 and are curious to learn more about the ‘story behind the story’, so that they may understand why this event represents a watershed moment for so many who were there.
About Parksville 2019
Close to 200 delegates attended this 3-day event. Parksville 2019 comprised a field day followed by a 2-day symposium. The program objectives for Parksville 2019 helped to inform and establish expectations. It was a matter of providing context and then being clear and succinct about the desired takeaways.
To provide relevance for streamkeepers, the theme for Day One was Sustainable Stream Restoration. To capture the attention of those in local government, the theme for Day Two was Restorative Land Development.
To Learn More:
Download a PDF copy of the Re-Cap and Reflections document at: https://waterbucket.ca/viw/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2019/05/Parksville-Symposium_re-cap-and-reflections_May2019.pdf