LEADING CHANGE IN THE CAPITAL REGION: “Implementation of the Bowker Creek Blueprint has begun. The District of Saanich and our partners have set out on a new path towards sustainable planning for infrastructure and public works within a multi-jurisdictional watershed boundary,” stated Colin Doyle, Director of Engineering, District of Saanich (April 2012)
District of Saanich working cooperatively within multi-jurisdictional watershed boundary
“An innovative, sustainable adventure has begun in the communities of Saanich, Victoria and Oak Bay in the core of the Capital Region on Southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada,” writes Colin Doyle, Director of Engineering with the District of Saanich, in the May 2012 issue of the APWA Reporter, a publication of the American Public Works Association.
“Recently accepted by the three municipalities, implementation of the Bowker Creek Blueprint: A 100-year action plan to restore the Bowker Creek watershed (2010) has begun. It is a visionary plan and a first of its kind. The Blueprint details watershed and reach-specific actions to rehabilitate the creek channel and to restore hydrologic function to the watershed through the process of redevelopment over the next few decades.”
Why 100 Years?
“It took 100 years to put Bowker Creek in pipes and concrete channels. It will take another 100 years to daylight and bring life back to the creek. Acknowledging the 100-year timeframe of the Plan in the title of the document gave municipalities much more comfort, and reassurance that they don’t have to act immediately on everything in the Blueprint.”
“The District of Saanich and our partners have set out on a new path towards sustainable planning for infrastructure and public works within a multi-jurisdictional watershed boundary. We have all started to internalize the watershed management mandate.”
“Within Saanich this means that the Planning, Engineering, and Parks and Recreation Departments have been directed to consider the principles and actions for watershed management, the 10-key actions for short-term implementation, and stream reach actions laid out in the Bowker Creek Blueprint when developing Departmental work plans and budgets,” concludes Colin Doyle.
To Learn More:
To read the APWA Reporter article in its entirety, click on Integrated Sustainable Planning for Infrastructure and Public Works to download a PDF copy.
Collaboration with the Stewardship Sector
The nature of the collaboration between decision-makers in local government and visionary leaders in the Bowker Creek community is unprecedented.
“People eagerly embrace the opportunities for engagement and education. They really want to share their thoughts and experiences. Residents have a stake in restoring watershed health. There is so much experience that we can mine. We who live in the watershed are the experts,” states Soren Henrich, a community leader who sits on the Bowker Creek Initiative Steering Committee. His personal passion is organizing pennant printing workshops to connect people with the watershed.