“Deepening children’s interaction with nature addresses the issue of environmental generational amnesia. The solution we are putting forward is, in effect, ‘one small interaction with nature at a time’,” stated Thea Weiss, University of Washington
“Nature Language is a term introduced by the researchers as a means of speaking about deep and meaningful patterns of human interaction with nature. Ideas related to ‘big nature’ and ‘nature language’ can help mitigate the problem of environmental generational amnesia. Since lack of interaction with nature has partly caused the problem, deepening children’s interaction with nature is proposed as a way to help solve it. Children’s educational environments –and entire cities — can be designed with this goal in mind,” stated Thea Weiss.
FLASHBACK TO 2016: “Asset Management BC and the Partnership for Water Sustainability are collaborating to connect the dots between asset management and water sustainability. Everyone should know that the time to shape future life-cycle costs is at the community planning front-end. Our message is explicit: get it right at the front-end; avoid a liability,” stated Wally Wells (in an article published in Asset Management BC Newsletter, June 2016)
“Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A Framework for BC is the lynch-pin for a water-resilient future. The BC Framework makes the link between local government services, the infrastructure that supports the delivery of those services, and watershed health. Today, it is no accident that asset management and water sustainability are both top priorities for local governments. All those involved in land development have a role to play in achieving Sustainable Service Delivery. The players include land use and infrastructure professionals. Sustainable Service Delivery is the singular aim. Asset Management is the means to achieve the aim,” stated Wally Wells.
DEALING WITH UNCERTAINTY AND MANAGING RISK: “Climate change impacts are risks which can be addressed by aligning asset lifecycles to performance or change thresholds which consider how levels-of-service are likely to deteriorate in response to climate changes impacts,” stated Robert Hicks (Summer 2021 issue of the Asset Management BC Newsletter)
“If we look at the variability in climate change impact scenarios that may occur within many asset lifecycles, we may get distracted by the uncertainty and statistical variance of the magnitude among the anticipated changes for key parameters that inform levels-of-service. Another way to consider this variance and uncertainty is to consider the time-range that a key performance threshold might be reached. For asset management, the consideration is how and when assets might be compromised in their lifecycle by climate change,” stated Robert Hicks.
For those who wonder about the ‘story behind the story’ of British Columbia’s Sustainable Service Delivery journey, Asset Management BC Executive Director Wally Wells has identified five Defining Milestones over the past two decades that have re-shaped how local government does business (Summer 2021 issue of Asset Management BC Newsletter)
“The approach BC local governments follow for their asset management process is enshrined in the document Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery: A BC Framework. The important and telling part of the title is that Asset Management is a process to provide a sound basis for decisions relating to the function of service delivery. Assets exist and are created, upgraded, replaced, maintained, and operated to provide a service. There is no other reason for their existence than provision of the intended service,” stated Wally Wells.
RAIN GARDEN INNOVATION: “Delta implemented an integrated design team with Sarah Howie as the landscape architect, a design engineer and drafting staff to work with local stream keepers. Engineering operations staff provided in-field installation and implementation expertise,” stated Hugh Fraser, retired Deputy Director of Engineering, City of Delta
Shared responsibility is a foundation piece for Delta’s rain garden program. “Everyone in the process, students, designers, managers and constructors, must understand and care about the big-picture goal. This requires an ongoing educational process that instills an ethic. This is a team effort. Nothing would have happened without all working together and continuing to work together. Creating a watershed health legacy will ultimately depend on how well we are able to achieve rain water management improvements on both public and private sides of a watershed,” stated Hugh Fraser.
ARTICLE: “An outcome of relationship building by MABRRI is that the process connects VIU students to regional project partners. As a result, we gain valuable research and work experience,” stated Ariel Verhoeks, graduate student, when commenting on how the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute, located at Vancouver Island University, is collaborating with the Partnership for Water Sustainability (Waterbucket eNews, January 2021)
The Partnership for Water Sustainability’s vision is to nest EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, within a university program for training the next generation of land use professionals. “Because MABRRI establishes meaningful partnerships that encourage involvement of students attending Vancouver Island University, research projects benefit from the interdisciplinary strengths of students. Collaboration is mutually beneficial. We students benefit because the projects provide us with research experience that is relevant to us,” stated Ariel Verhoeks.
URBAN GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE STARTS WITH A RAIN GARDEN: “To scale up our response to climate change requires a concerted, connected and collaborative approach to finding a way to work together towards identifying solutions and taking action. This perspective provides the context for an ecosystem of teaching, interdisciplinary professional practice and research that informs the new Green Infrastructure course,” stated Dr. Joanna Ashworth, Simon Fraser University
“Every significant innovation results from a magical combination of timing, preparation and luck. So true for the creation of a new online course on Green Infrastructure, or GI, at Simon Fraser University. After several years of promoting the use of rain gardens in communities, including offering workshops, my colleagues and I were delighted when the Adaptation Learning Network, awarded funding for us to develop an online course,” stated Joanna Ashworth.
INTEGRATING NATURAL ASSETS INTO INFRASTRUCTURE ON BC’S SUNSHINE COAST: “During construction, we experienced a few 50mm rain events that we had to manage with fire pumps that pumped into the forest, dispersing through sprinklers. Amazingly though, we could see there was no pooling or surface movement. It was our first time seeing in real time what the forest could manage,” stated Michael Wall, Manager of Asset Management & Strategic Initiatives, qathet Regional District
“We received a proposal to manage stormwater using pipes, ditches, and a large sedimentation pond. It was going to cost roughly $850,000 and they were going to clear around a hectare of forest. Jason Gow, senior planner from the City of Powell River, and I went on site to review the proposed engineering design. We wondered why are we clearing a forest to put in infrastructure to manage run-off, when we know the forest can provide that service to some extent? We tried to look for any similar case studies for a “volume of water per area of forest” that can be safely managed, but we could not find anything,” stated Michael Wall.
SEASONAL USE OF WATER IN BALANCE WITH A CHANGING WATER CYCLE: “The City sees the BC Landscape Water Calculator helping us manage our peak demand. I like that the calculator will be able to show people just how much they can reduce their water use,” stated Amy Peters, coordinator of the City of Abbotsford water conservation program
“Many homeowners are now familiar with how much they are using because the number is on their utility bill. It really is important that they be able to see how much outdoor water use contributes to their total water demand. The BC Landscape Water Calculator does this. We are encouraging people to transform their front yards by replacing grass with water efficient plants. We are promoting both water efficient and native plants. The BC Landscape Water Calculator provides them with choices for both,” stated Amy Peters.
“Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Accounting for Stream Systems in Asset Management”, a downloadable version of an article published on Waterbucket eNews about application of the Ecological Accounting Process to the Millstone River in the Regional District of Nanaimo (Vancouver Island), released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in June 2021
The driver for EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, is degradation of stream channels and streamside protection areas. “Accounting for our region’s natural assets is part of responsible asset management that includes ecological systems as well as physical infrastructure. This report has given the Regional District of Nanaimo, as well as the City of Nanaimo, further insight as we develop our existing framework for the protection and enhancement of our important natural features in our communities, including stream corridors,” stated Tyler Brown, RDN Chair.