REPORT ON: “Kilmer Creek Re-Alignment in the District of North Vancouver: Assessing the Worth of Ecological Services Using the Ecological Accounting Process for Financial Valuation” (Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC; released June 2020)


Under the umbrella of the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative, this publication is the 4th in a series about demonstration applications for the “Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) – A BC Process for Community Investment in the Natural Commons”

The EAP program is multi-year (2016-2021) and multi-stage to test, refine and mainstream the EAP methodology and metrics. The Stage 2 applications are Shelly Creek in the City of Parksville and Regional District of Nanaimo, and Kilmer Creek in the District of North Vancouver. The Kilmer findings are introduced in the article below.

Kilmer Creek is a 1st order stream and is part of the Hastings Creek watershed in the Lynn Valley area of North Vancouver. Based on area, the upper two-thirds is forested mountainside. In the urbanized lower one-third, decades of land use decisions have materially altered the natural drainage system.

This EAP Demonstration Application was undertaken in collaboration with the District of North Vancouver; and was jointly funded by the District of North Vancouver, UBCM (Union of BC Municipalities), the provincial government, and the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC.

The parallel concepts of the NATURAL COMMONS and the CONSTRUCTED COMMONS enable residents, elected persons, and practitioners to consider ecological services and use of land (development) as equally important.

ECOLOGICAL ACCOUNTING: Do you wonder how streams influence neighbourhoods and property values?

“During a crisis, the challenge is to prepare for the day after tomorrow when all attention is focused on today. Front and centre for British Columbians is the day-by-day response to the COVID-19 emergency. At the same time, however, we must keep our eyes on the horizon and get ready for the “new business as usual” that must surely follow as day follows night,” states Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.

“This is the context for release of Kilmer Creek Re-Alignment in the District of North Vancouver: Assessing the Worth of Ecological Services Using the Ecological Accounting Process for Financial Valuation. This report illustrates what the ‘new business as usual’ for enhancing and restoring the natural commons could look like, post COVID-19.

“The report also introduces new terminology – such as, the NATURAL COMMONS ASSET. The NCA is the portion of the stream defined by the set-back area required by streamside protection regulations. Often the NCA is augmented by contiguous natural area, such as parkland. This larger area is the Natural Commons Area.

“In addition, the report emphasizes the acronym M&M to draw attention to the distinction between these objectives as strategies: MAINTENANCE, which means ‘prevent degradation’; and MANAGEMENT, which means ‘improve the condition’.

“The Kilmer Creek report would inform those who wish to get serious about valuing and incorporating riparian ecological assets and services into asset management strategies and plans. The ultimate desired outcome in applying EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, is that science-based actions would be implemented to reconnect hydrology and ecology in the built environment. Once restored, hydrologic function would support sustainable M&M of riparian ecological services.”


To read the report in its entirety, download a copy of Kilmer Creek Re-Alignment in the District of North Vancouver: Assessing the Worth of Ecological Services Using the Ecological Accounting Process for Financial Valuation.

Creek Daylighting is an Opportunity for Restoration of the Natural Commons in an Older Neighbourhood of Lynn Valley

“Dating back to the 1980s, the District of North Vancouver is a leader in implementing policy and regulations for streamside protection. Where subdivision design followed streamside regulation, the neighbourhood is enhanced by the intact riparian quality of the stream,” reports Tim Pringle, EAP Chair.

“Pending redevelopment of Argyle Secondary School adjacent to Kilmer Creek has opened the door to creek daylighting and realignment. This provides the opportunity to address ecological and conveyance deficiencies in a section of the stream where pre-1960s land use decisions removed the riparian functions.”

Lower Kilmer Restoration in a Lynn Valley Context:

“Two school frontages abut the stream. They account for 55% of the channel length through the area developed prior to streamside regulation. Thus, culvert daylighting plus channel realignment through school lands represent the single, most favourable opportunity to achieve stream restoration in the context of redevelopment in one of the older urban areas of Lynn Valley.

“Stream restoration would enable the school district to fulfill a compelling social obligation, and that is, to recognize its responsibility to support maintenance and management of Kilmer Creek as a natural commons.”