REFBC GRANT FOR PARKSVILLE 2019 SYMPOSIUM WILL HELP BUILD COMMUNITY CAPACITY: “Local leadership is key to sustaining healthy watersheds in BC,” stated Jack Wong, CEO, Real Estate Foundation of BC (Announcement, Dec 2018)

Note to Reader:

In 1985, the British Columbia provincial government, in cooperation with the real estate industry, enacted legislation to establish the Real Estate Foundation of BC (REFBC). Today, laws regarding the Foundation are contained within the Real Estate Services Act.

The REFBC is a philanthropic organization that supports sustainable land use and real estate practices. Through its grants program, REFBC funds research, education, and policy analysis. Since 1985, REFBC has given over $85 million for projects in communities across BC.

When property is purchased in British Columbia, real estate brokerages may hold a deposit in a pooled trust account until the sale closes. While held in trust, these deposits generate a small amount of interest. Under the Real Estate Services Act, the Foundation receives this interest and pays fees associated with these accounts. In turn, REFBC uses these funds to support research, education, law reform, and other projects that benefit BC communities.

The Parksville 2019 Symposium is made possible with funding provided by the REFBC.

A Call to Action: Reconnect Hydrology & Ecology!

The “Parksville 2019 Symposium” is an outreach and professional development event, held under the umbrella of the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative, and is designed to foster a conversation in communities along the east coast of Vancouver Island and in the Metro Vancouver region about reconnecting hydrology and ecology.

The daily symposium themes are Sustainable Stream Restoration (Day One) and Restorative Land Development (Day Two), respectively.

The symposium is a call to action to align provincial, regional and local actions so that restorative land development results in sustainable stream restoration.

While BC communities may not be able to restore lost biodiversity, they can certainly halt its decline and consciously direct efforts toward a richer future, that is: “make where we live better”.

Land and Water are Connected

The Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia has announced a $20,000 grant to support the Parksville 2019 Symposium by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia, Nanaimo & Area Land Trust (NALT), and Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society (MVIHES).

“Parksville 2019 is a valuable initiative, and REFBC is pleased to help make it possible,” stated Jack Wong, CEO. “We’re particularly interested in the symposium’s focus on the connections between ‘land and water’. By supporting better land use decisions and educating leaders on restorative land development, the Symposium demonstrates leadership and innovation.”

The Stewardship Sector: A Key Audience

“Financial support from the REFBC will substantially subsidize the registration for members of the stewardship sector. This would make Parksville 2019 financially accessible to a key audience, and enable the host organizations to build community capacity to look at small watersheds differently,” continues Ted van der Gulik, Partnership President. “Many community volunteers are on fixed or modest incomes. So, reducing the cost for them to attend a 2-day symposium has been a governing consideration for the Parksville 2019 Organizing Committee.

“The Parksville 2019 program has relevance and applicability to settled areas throughout BC. The story of the event has the potential to inspire conversations in the urban areas of BC which are experiencing development pressures at a time when the climate is changing and unstable,” emphasizes Ted van der Gulik.

A Focus on Restorative Development

“The Symposium program connects dots – because a key message is that what happens on the land in the surrounding creekshed does matter to the health of streams,” concludes John Finnie, Chair of the Parksville 2019 Organizing Committee. “Thus, the Symposium will introduce the audience to the following paradigm, which is a new way of thinking: At the same as we are decreasing our destructive footprint, we can also be increasing our restorative footprint. If the audience understands and embraces the paradigm, that will be a measure of success.”

To Learn More:

For the complete storyline, download the PARKSVILLE 2019 BROCHURE. This is a comprehensive package that maps out the field day plus 2-day symposium. To read two announcements published in November 2018, click on the links below: