Capital Region’s Bowker Creek Blueprint Wins “EcoStar Award for Integrated Watershed Management”
Note to Readers:
On September 11, the Capital Regional District (CRD) hosted the 2012 EcoStar Community Environmental Awards, which serve to celebrate environmental leaders across the region. The EcoStar Award for Integrated Watershed Management celebrates and honours organizations and individuals working to preserve the natural environment and improve the quality of life in the CRD, British Columbia. The winner was the Bowker Creek Blueprint.
Completed in 2010, the Bowker Creek Blueprint demonstrates how major breakthroughs happen when decision makers in government collaborate with grass-roots visionaries in the community to create desired outcomes.
Agree on the Vision. Set the Targets. Then Implement!
The Bowker Creek Blueprint is a 100-year action plan to restore watershed function in the urban heartland of the Capital Region. It is provincially significant and precedent-setting. It is inspiring and/or influencing what is happening in other parts of British Columbia. The inclusive process that culminated in the Bowker Creek Blueprint demonstrates how major breakthroughs happen when decision makers in government collaborate with grass-roots visionaries in the community to create desired outcomes.
“The Bowker Blueprint is helping the community understand that: we all live in a watershed, all water ends up in the same place when it runs off the land, and everyone must commit to actions that improve watershed health. As we improve the way we deal with water runoff, our world will be a better place – not only now, but even more so in a 100 years – because we will have been implementing the Blueprint for that long,” states Steve Fifield, Manager of Underground Utilities and the City of Victoria’s representative on the Bowker Creek Initiative.
“One rain garden is not going to make a difference. But, if we continue to add rain gardens over the next 100 years, then it absolutely will make a significant difference as the watershed redevelops. Agree on the vision. Set the targets. Then implement!
“I have been involved in engineering for a long, long time and will soon be retiring. In the olden days, we would just pipe water away, and we would not think twice about it. In the latter part of my career, I have been part of a great team that has looked at rainfall differently and shares a vision for what the Bowker Creek watershed can be again. The ‘blueprint for action’ is a perfect example of working with others to improve watershed health long-term, and I am proud to have been part of creating it.”
TO LEARN MORE:
For the story behind the Bowker Creek Blueprint, click on the link following to view a 5-minute video.
Click on the EcoStar video to learn why the Bowker Creek Blueprint won the award.
Established in 2004, the Bowker Creek Urban Watershed Renewal Initiative (BCI) is a unique multi-jurisdictional effort in British Columbia’s Capital Region. Local governments, community groups, post-secondary institutions and private citizens are collaborating to improve the health of Bowker Creek and its watershed. Bowker Creek has become a demonstration area for urban watershed management and restoration in the Georgia Basin.