BOWKER CREEK FORUM: A Celebration of the 100-Year Blueprint for Watershed Restoration – “The Bowker Creek Forum creates an opportunity for local municipal staff and others to learn about urban watershed management successes and challenges from the Bowker Creek Initiative,” stated Jody Watson, Chair, Bowker Creek Initiative (December 2009)

Note to Readers:

To download a PDF version of the following announcement, click on Bowker Creek Forum: A Celebration of the 100-Year Blueprint for Watershed Restoration (FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT)

FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT: Bowker Creek Initiative collaborates with CAVI to hold Georgia Basin inter-regional sharing event

Bowker creek initiative - logo (240p)The Bowker Creek Urban Watershed Renewal Initiative (BCI) is a unique multi-jurisdictional effort to improve the health of a highly urbanized watershed. The Bowker Creek watershed is in the Capital Regional District (CRD), and the creek extends from the University of Victoria through the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria, and discharges to the sea through the District of Oak Bay.

After years of dedication and hard work, the BCI recently completed a comprehensive and detailed plan for implementing the community vision for watershed restoration, reach by reach. The plan is called Bowker Creek Blueprint: A 100-Year Action Plan to Restore the Watershed.

The BCI is collaborating with Convening for Action on Vancouver Island, known by the acronym CAVI, to organize the Bowker Creek Forum in February 2010. Previously, CAVI partnered with the CRD to organize Showcasing Green Infrastructure Innovation: The 2008 Capital Region Series.

Collaboration and Sharing

“The Bowker Creek Forum creates an opportunity for local municipal staff and others to learn about urban watershed management successes and challenges from the Bowker Creek Initiative,” states Jody Watson, BCI Chair (and CRD Harbours & Watersheds Coordinator). “The Forum also provides the opportunity to celebrate what we have accomplished through commitment and perseverance.”

“Champions of green urban infrastructure from Metro Vancouver and from communities north of the Malahat will also participate in the celebration, to share lessons they have learned about inter-jurisdictional cooperation and effective on-the-ground action,” adds Tanis Gower, BCI Coordinator. “Each region is progressing in different ways to achieve a greener approach to urban growth and change.”

Regional Team Approach

“CAVI is championing a ‘regional team approach’ that will achieve water sustainability through implementation of green infrastructure policies and practices,” continues Eric Bonham, a founding member of the CAVI Leadership Team; and formerly a Director in the Ministry of Community Services. “A regional team approach is founded on partnerships and collaboration; and seeks to align actions at three scales – provincial, regional and local.”

“The Bowker Creek story is important because the 100-Year Blueprint accomplishment can inspire and/or influence what happens in other parts of the Georgia Basin,” concludes Kim Stephens, Program Coordinator for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia.

“From the CAVI perspective, our goal is to facilitate sharing and networking so that successes such as the 100-Year Blueprint can be transferred Island-wide and beyond.”

About the Bowker Creek Initiative

The Bowker Creek Initiative (BCI) is a collaboration between local governments, community groups, post-secondary institutions and private citizens, to improve the health of Bowker Creek and its watershed. The BCI was established because of concerns about flooding, pollution, and the degraded condition of Bowker creek.

Bowker creek initiative - instream photo (180p)The Bowker Creek Watershed Management Plan guides all activities undertaken by the Bowker Creek Initiative. The Plan was developed in 2002 by a Forum of government agencies, community organizations and residents, in order to recognize and protect valued characteristics of the watershed. Public input was sought and the final Plan reflects the views of the Forum and members of the public.

In 2003, the municipalities of Saanich, Oak Bay and Victoria, and the CRD Board approved the Bowker Creek Watershed Management Plan. The BCI was established and a coordinator was hired in 2004.

To Learn More:

To read a story on the Rainwater Management Community-of-Interest that provides insight, click on The Capital Region’s Bowker Creek: a long-term relationship — Re-development at Oak Bay High School creates a creek restoration opportunity.

About CAVI

CAVI brings together those who plan and regulate land use (local government), those who build (developers), those who provide the legislative framework (the Province), those who provide research (university and college), and those who advocate conservation of resources (stewardship sector).

Designed through an inclusive and participatory process that draws on the experience of planning and engineering managers in local government, CAVI program elements are outcome-oriented. CAVI is a regional pilot program that is being implemented under the umbrella of the Water Sustainability Action Plan.

The challenge posed by CAVI is this: Visualize what we want Vancouver Island to look like in 50 years.

Who is CAVI?

The CAVI Partnership comprises the British Columbia Water & Waste Association BCWWA), the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, two provincial Ministries (Environment, and Community & Rural Development), and the Green Infrastructure Partnership.

The CAVI Leadership Team is comprised of individuals from across sectors, including: local government, the stewardship sector, the private sector and academia.

CAVI is co-funded by the Province and the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia. The Water Sustainability Committee of the BCWWA is the managing partner and is providing program delivery.

CAVI logo (360p)