Flashback to a Watershed Moment: "Beyond the Guidebook" initiative launched in 2007 at Vancouver seminar

BYGB 2007_design with nature

Integration of Rainwater Management & Green Infrastructure

Under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia,  the Green Infrastructure Partnership rolled out Beyond the Guidebook at a Vancouver seminar in November 2007. The seminar was structured in three parts to deal with the Why, What and How in going Beyond the Guidebook.

  • Part A was titled Green Infrastructure Innovation: On-the-Ground Successes
  • Part B was titled Beyond the Guidebook: Applying What We Have Learned to Protect Stream Health
  • Part C was titled A Pilot for Beyond the Guidebook: City of Surrey’s Fergus Creek Watershed Plan

Released in June 2007, “Beyond the Guidebook” refers to a runoff-based approach to drainage modeling that connects the dots between source control evaluation and stream health assessment.

The seminar also enabled the Green Infrastructure Partnership to report out on provincially funded programs and tools that are being developed and implemented through partnerships.

To Learn More:

To read the complete story on, click on Beyond the Guidebook Seminar.

The Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC is the “keeper of the GIP legacy”

“The Green Infrastructure Partnership was an original element of the Water Sustainability Action Plan for BC, released in 2004. Starting with the 2005 REAC Consultation Workshop, the early success of the GIP built awareness and galvanized action on the ground,” stated Paul Ham in 2014. He was Chair of the Green Infrastructure Partnership from 2005 through 2008.

“This success helped to lay a strong foundation for incorporation of thePartnership for Water Sustainability in BC. This entity is now the hub for a ‘convening for action’ network in the local government setting, and the keeper of the GIP legacy.”

2007 Seminar was attended by a province-wide audience

PaulHam_2006_120p“The response by the engineering community and others to the 2007 Beyond the Guidebook Seminar was overwhelming, and came as a welcome surprise,” continued Paul Ham. “The seminar was a month after the last event in the 2007 Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation Series.  The goal of the series was to share green infrastructure approaches, tools, experiences and lessons learned as an outcome of designing with nature. As a logical next step, the seminar created a learning opportunity to help practitioners move from awareness to action.”

Kim-160pAttendance was capped at 72 and there was a waiting list.  “We were at capacity two weeks before the event. If we had the option to switch to a larger venue, we would have filled it,” adds Kim Stephens, the seminar moderator and the Program Coordinator for the Action Plan,

“We squeezed as many people as we could into the room,” continues Stephens, “Clearly, there is a strong practitioner interest in learning more about rainwater management and green infrastructure, and understanding the emerging regulatory framework.”

Although the majority of attendees came from Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, the seminar attracted a province-wide audience. There was a large contingent from Vancouver Island. Attendees also came from as far away as Prince George and the Okanagan.

2007_Beyond-Guidebook-Seminar_group scene_1000p

A Transformational Event?

Kim Stephens provided this perspective on what he believes was accomplished by the seminar: “We started the day with high expectations that the Beyond the Guidebook Seminar would prove to be a transformational event, and we exceeded those expectations as the day unfolded. Further, my prediction is that this event will become part of our green infrastructure folklore, much as the 2005 REAC Consultation Workshop and the 1997 Union of BC Municipalities focus group workshop were defining moments in moving British Columbia down a pathway that led to the Beyond the Guidebook Seminar.”

“It is the telling of the story about an event that takes on importance in moving practitioners  from talk to action,” added Stephens, “A key is that those who were there come away inspired and start doing things differently in their day jobs as a result of what they learned by being part of the moment.”