BOWKER CREEK BLUEPRINT: “The reach-by-reach approach is marketing friendly for citizen and council. They can focus on the piece they know best and relate to the picture,” stated Anne Topp, (former) Manager of Community Planning, District of Saanich (February 2010)
Note to Reader:
The Bowker Creek Blueprint part of the Bowker Creek Forum program was structured in three segments (or modules): Development, Actions and Implementation.
The morning program comprised two Bowker modules. The afternoon program began with the third Bowker module. Representatives of the District of Saanich and City of Victoria presented their municipal perspectives on Blueprint implementation.
First, Adriane Pollard, Manager of Environmental Planning, elaborated on what should be simple and what might be difficult to implement. Then Anne Topp, Manager of Community Planning, dealt with issues, opportunities and key factors for success. They set the scene for Steven Fifield of the City of Victoria to provide an on-the-ground example of what implementation looks like.
What Should Be Simple, What Might Be Difficult
Major breakthroughs happen when decision makers in government work with grass-roots visionaries in the community to create desired outcomes. This is the essence of the Bowker Creek story.
“Council has been recently engaged by the Bowker Creek Initiative: a bus tour of the watershed; an open house for councillors to be introduced to the draft blueprint; a public open house; and presentations to council committees. There is generally a good feeling and understanding of the work being done,” stated Adriane Pollard.
“Keeping track of actions and setting priorities for future actions is key so that we do not feel overwhelmed at the beginning.”
To Learn More:
Download a copy of the PowerPoint co-presentation by Adriane Pollard & Anne Topp (District of Saanich): Bowker Creek Blueprint Implementation: The Municipal Perspective
Issues, Opportunities and Key Factors for Success
“The big elephant in the room is always money. Municipalities have lots of competing interests for spending money; lots of projects to keep staff busy; and finite financial resources. We are all challenged to do more with less and get it done,” added Anne Topp.
“We all have heard the quote ‘if you don’t know where you are going, it doesn’t matter what road you take’. With completion of the Blueprint, the Bowker Initiative knows where it wants to go and now we need to find the road to get there.
“Integrating with and using other plans to advance the Blueprint will be ongoing. An example is the proposed Shelbourne Corridor Action Plan. Integration of the Blueprint with that plan will strengthen both.”
Key Factors for Success:
“I do not remember who came up with the idea to make this a 100-year plan but I think the group agreement to use the idea was brilliant. There are some big ideas in the plan and a 100-year time frame might take the sting out for the people thinking about all the little issues that could impact implementation. This approach gives us time.
“This plan is not just about water. It is about how this community wants to live and connect to the environment.
“Back to money. The 100-year approach should help us. We don’t have to do the $20 million, $40 million ISMP approach. Keeping the pieces small and creating bite sized pieces should allow the slow and steady approach.
“The reach-by-reach approach is marketing friendly for citizen and council. They can focus on the piece they know best and relate to the picture. The actions are descriptive and understandable without the overkill of the background technical work that supports the plan.”