Story of the Bowker Blueprint

DOWNLOAD A COPY: “Story of the Bowker Creek Forum” – a compendium of six articles provide insight as to why the Bowker Creek Blueprint and 100-Year Action Plan for restoration of natural function in an urban watershed is precedent-setting and unique; and how it demonstrates the power of collaboration between the local government and stewardship sectors in BC’s Capital Region (February 2010)

Located in the urbanized heartland of the Capital Regional District, the Bowker Creek watershed is shared by three municipalities – Victoria, Oak Bay and Saanich. “A desired outcome in holding the Bowker Creek Forum was to share information about successful approaches, so that they could be replicated in other jurisdictions. The forum was a chance for regional organizations, businesses and community members to learn about and celebrate the accomplishments of the Bowker Creek Initiative,” stated Tanis Gower.

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CONVENING FOR ACTION IN THE GEORGIA BASIN: Bowker Creek Blueprint establishes precedent for moving from awareness to action – “Other watershed initiatives and other jurisdictions can benefit from the trail-blazing efforts of the Bowker Creek Initiative,” stated John Finnie, Chair, CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island (January 2010)

STORY #1 The Bowker Creek Initiative demonstrates HOW a ‘regional team approach’ can enable action at a watershed scale that results in coordinated and integrated changes on the ground. It has been a lengthy, intensive and expensive process. The lessons learned can be transferred and adapted to other settings. “Effective sharing of their experience can potentially accelerate the change process elsewhere in the Georgia Basin,” observed John Finnie,

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CONVENING FOR ACTION IN THE GEORGIA BASIN: Bowker Creek Forum promotes inter-regional sharing and collaboration – “The Bowker Creek Blueprint is clearly about shared responsibility. Metro Vancouver municipalities can learn from Bowker experience,” stated Remi Dube, City of Surrey (February 2010)

STORY #2 The Bowker Creek Forum is an important milestone for Georgia Basin sharing and collaboration. It connects champions from the Capital Region to champions from Metro Vancouver. “In the City of Surrey, we are moving to a broader watershed objectives approach to capturing rain where it falls. Then we can better protect our streams. Once we know what we want our watersheds and neighbourhoods to look like, the next step is to decide what the tools are that will get us there,” stated Remi Dube.

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SHARED RESPONSIBILITY: Community Perspectives on Developing and Implementing the 100-Year Action Plan for Watershed Restoration – “My Ah-Ha moment was when I realized that the three municipalities could not deliver a plan for stream and watershed restoration – unless the community drives and supports delivery,” stated Ian Graeme, founder of the Friends of Bowker Creek Society (February 2010)

STORY #3 The role that community groups have played in Blueprint development is impressive. “The Bowker Creek story is more than about producing a plan. It is about engaging the community. If the community is actively engaged, they will take greater responsibility for delivery. There is greater alignment now than ever before regarding community goals and the 100-year action plan for watershed restoration. There is a strong vision in the community with many committed champions,” stated Ian Graeme.

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SHARED RESPONSIBILITY: Local Government Perspectives on Developing and Implementing the 100-Year Action Plan for Watershed Restoration – “Having a coordinator was huge; and the decision to designate municipal staff to sit on the BCI committee was equally important. This gave us a mandate to help direct and inform the process,” stated Anne Topp, Manager of Community Planning, District of Saanich (February 2010)

STORY #4 “The Shelbourne Plan could help through policy connection to institutionalize and help drive early implementation of the Blueprint. How the story of the Blueprint and the vision for the Shelbourne Corridor are blended and the story articulated to mayor and council will be important. How the two are linked may be crucial to the ultimate success of both plans,” predicts Anne Topp.

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CALL TO ACTION: Bowker Creek Forum advanced a ‘regional team approach’ in the Georgia Basin by providing a platform for local government champions from ‘north of the Malahat’ and from Metro Vancouver to learn from the Bowker Blueprint experience (February 2010)

STORY #5 The Bowker Creek Forum was a celebration of the Bowker Creek Blueprint; and attracted a diverse audience of 60 people from around the Georgia Basin. “I got a lot out of the Forum. I got a sense of the similar problems we are facing up and down Vancouver Island. We all have come some distance towards a more sustainable approach and the ‘weaving’ that CAVI is doing is definitely helping us stay on track, realize where we are in comparison to other places and learn from each other,” commented Jack Minard,.

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