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Vancouver Island Water

The island is a demonstration region for the ‘regional team approach’. Communicate. Cooperate. Coordinate. Collaborate. Share resources and learn from each other. CAVI, Convening for Action on Vancouver Island-Leadership in Water Sustainability, started with a conversation in 2005. Formally launched in September 2006, and funded by government, the form of the initiative has evolved over the years. The program has demonstrated what can be done through partnerships and collaboration.

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PARKSVILLE 2019 PROGRAM AT A GLANCE: Make Better Land Use Decisions & Move Towards Restorative Development – join us in the City of Parksville on Vancouver Island for a field day on April 2, followed by a 2-day symposium on April 3-4 (REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED)


“The rhythms of water are changing in British Columbia. What happens on the land in the creekshed matters to streams – thus, the time has come to reconnect hydrology and ecology! Join delegates from the east coast of Vancouver Island and beyond, and attend a ‘watershed moment’ in Parksville,” stated John Finnie, Chair, Parksville 2019 Symposium Organizing Committee.

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DOWNLOAD DETAILED AGENDA for “Parksville 2019: Second Annual Vancouver Island Symposium on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate – Improving Where We Live Through Restorative Land Development” (April 2-3-4, 2019) – learn why a good strategy is the path to success


Join delegates from the east coast of Vancouver Island and beyond, and attend a ‘watershed moment’ in the City of Parksville for a field day followed by the 2-day symposium. “Delegates will learn how communities can apply science-based understanding to increase their restorative footprint and at the same time decrease their destructive footprint. Delegates will also learn about local government initiatives that are ‘getting it right’ and are moving along pathways that lead to restorative land development,” states Peter Law.

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DOWNLOAD PROGRAM BROCHURE for “Parksville 2019: Second Annual Vancouver Island Symposium on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate – Make Better Land Use Decisions & Move Towards Restorative Land Development” (April 2-3-4, 2019)


“Parksville 2019 is a milestone event on a multi-year ‘convening for action’ journey,” stated Kim Stephens. “The process is incremental. Each milestone builds on the last and points the way to the next. We do, we learn, we adapt. The ripple effects of the educational approach play out over time. Hence, the importance of ongoing reinforcement and reiteration of core concepts so that everyone understands the context, the goal, and what is necessary to achieve desired outcomes. Inform, educate and inspire those who are in a position to make a difference.”

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MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: “Parksville 2019 attracted an audience balanced across sectors; demonstrated the power of collaboration between the stewardship sector and local governments; and created an environment for sharing and cross-fertilizing experiences,” stated John Finnie


“Parksville 2019 demonstrated that a group of 200 biologists, planners, engineers, streamkeepers, politicians, administrators, students and others, all with different backgrounds and responsibilities, can share a common learning experience and agree on strategies for water and land stewardship, and stream restoration. Truly a magical experience. The stage has been set for more and better things to come. Stay tuned,” concluded John Finnie, Chair of the Parksville Symposium Organizing Committee.

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Convening for Action in British Columbia: Do You Wonder About the Outcomes Flowing from the Parksville 2019 Symposium?


“Thank you so much for the immense amount of work you do to protect ecosystem services and teach us all about taking responsibility. The Vancouver Island symposium on water stewardship was so inspiring and informative. It was a wonderful experience. I left Parksville feeling hopeful,” stated Councillor Laura Dupont, City of Port Coquitlam. This article provides a re-cap and a synopsis of the modules comprising the symposium program, and features three “stories behind the stories”.

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COLLABORATE FOR THE COMMON GOOD: “Engagement of community through stewardship is a credible formula to be encouraged and mainstreamed at every opportunity,” stated Eric Bonham when he provided his perspective on citizen science in action in British Columbia


“Collaboration, teamwork and a recognition that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts is the energy that stokes creativity and determination. When this combination of citizen talent is aligned with a local government that is both visionary and focused, outstanding achievements are not only possible, but realistic,” stated Eric Bonham. “The core message is the power of thoughtful and constructive collaboration. It is one thing getting together to share ideas. It is quite another when there is a genuine desire to truly listen to each other, and through commitment, reach for the common good and, as a result, change how we do business together. “

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WATER SYMPOSIUM ROCKS PARKSVILLE: “Delegates learned how communities can apply science-based understanding to restore the natural water balance,” wrote Barb Riordan in an article posted on the MVIHES website


“Last year’s symposium, held in Nanaimo, explained how land development using drainage systems that send rainfall straight off the land into creeks and rivers disrupts the natural flow and infiltration patterns of water on our landscape. The consequences of this disruption are more erosion and flooding, very low water levels in summer, and loss of aquatic habitat. The problem will worsen with climate change,” wrote Barb Riordan. “This year, delegates learned about local government initiatives that are ‘getting it right’ and moving along pathways that lead to restorative land development.”

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DOWNLOAD POWERPOINT PRESENTATIONS: Parksville 2019 – Second Annual Vancouver Island Symposium on Water Stewardship in a Changing Climate (April 2-3-4, 2019)


“It truly was a watershed moment at Parksville 2019. We set out to attract an audience balanced across sectors, demonstrate the power of collaboration between the stewardship sector and local governments, and create an environment for sharing and learning from each other. We achieved all three objectives,” stated John Finnie. “Parksville 2019 demonstrated that a group with different backgrounds and responsibilities can share a common learning experience and agree on strategies for water stewardship and stream restoration.”

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SHOWCASING SHELLY CREEK THROUGH A VIDEO SERIES: “Water is fluid, active and mercurial. Show it that way, the good and bad, so people can relate to challenges in their neighbourhoods and help address them through active engagement,” states David Mackenzie, videographer


“If the community comprehends the issues at hand, and the solutions that are needed, then leaders may be able to establish a support base that can help move watershed sustainability in the right direction within the community,” observes David Mackenzie. “Visual media forms, such as photography and videography, are well suited as environmental evidence for what is going wrong in watersheds. But also, can show what success can look like when restoration is achieved. One cannot attract supporters through just words and bullets on PowerPoint slides. Visual media is the way to do this today.”

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CONVENING FOR ACTION AT PARKSVILLE 2019: Mayor Ed Mayne to open symposium with a “welcome to Parksville”


The Mayor recognizes that the Symposium is timely in terms of celebrating the opening of the new Englishman River Water Service treatment plant. He is proud that the City’s contribution to the success of the Symposium is the guided tours of the river intake and water treatment facilities. Operation of the Englishman River Water Service is guided by this statement: “An environmentally sensitive use of water to improve fish habitat and domestic water supply”. At a time when the climate is changing, it is a balancing act to achieve both outcomes when summers are longer and drier.

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