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Convening for Action in 2019

Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Make Better Land Use Decisions – “In the RDN part of the symposium program, delegates contributed to the visioning of the next decade of Drinking Water and Watershed Protection in the Nanaimo region,” stated Julie Pisani, DWWP Coordinator (April 2019)


“The engagement session for the RDN’s Drinking Water and Watershed Protection program was a great example of the interactive nature of the Parksville 2019 Symposium event, where participants could share ideas and learn from each other, as well as the speakers. The involvement of the graduate students from Vancouver Island University as table facilitators extended the collaboration across the generations, providing an opportunity for future leaders and planners to be involved in the discussions,” stated Julie Pisani.

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Improving Where We Live – “Five exciting Vancouver Island initiatives demonstrate what is possible through a whole-system approach to improving where we live,” stated Richard Boase, Water Stewardship Symposium Series Moderator, when he introduced the Panel / Town-Hall session on Day Two at the Symposium (April 2019)


Richard Boase brings three ingredients to the role of Moderator: passion, enthusiasm and a sense of humour. The unifying theme for the Day Two Panel was that a vision for restorative land development could be guided by the mantra: Sustainable is attainable. We can make where we live better. While communities cannot restore lost biodiversity, they can halt its decline and consciously direct efforts into bending the trend-line in an upwards direction. ‘Getting it right’ is a process that requires long-term commitment, patience and perseverance by champions.

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Improving Where We Live – “We are poised for action in the Cowichan Valley. We went to the public in October 2018 because the time was right for a referendum on water. Our communities have been with us all the way. The referendum passed,” stated Kate Miller, Manager of Environmental Services (April 2019)


“Watershed planning is a way of integrating land use planning for communities with other impacts in watersheds to ensure that all the resources are managed effectively. In October 2018, Cowichan electors passed a referendum (by a decisive 58% in favour) to implement the new regional service. This is the culmination of more than a decade of collaboration to build capacity in the stewardship sector and enhance decision-making,” explained Kate Miller.

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Improving Where We Live – “Collaboration in the Comox Valley – we have come a long way. Yet we have so far to go,” stated Marc Rutten, General Manager Engineering (April 2019)


“The Comox Lake Watershed Protection Plan is truly a collaborative outcome. But a plan is nothing without follow-through and implementation. We’ve got the support. This plan will not sit on a shelf,” stated Marc Rutten. “Along the way, the process fostered relationships and built trust among the many stakeholders, including all four local governments. We will continue to collect data, make good decisions, educate, collaborate, and understand the true value of the most important natural asset – the watershed.”

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Improving Where We Live – “The Comox Valley Conservation Partnership brings together 23 different local groups and associations in one common forum to work proactively with local governments,” stated Tim Ennis, Executive Director (April 2019)


“The only way to get something done is through partnerships and relationships,” stated Tim Ennis. “Decommissioned in 2006, the Field Sawmill was once the economic heart of the Comox Valley. A First Nation, a municipality and an environmental non-profit share a dream and have signed an MOU to collaboratively purchase, restore and manage this key property in the heart of their community. This is an historic milestone in reconciliation and intergovernmental relations.”

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Improving Where We Live – “What are the commons? Those are places in the community that everyone has a right to access, and draw value from,” stated Tim Pringle, Chair, Ecological Accounting Process (EAP) Initiative (April 2019)


“The commons add value to quality of life. They add property value. There are two kinds of commons – natural and constructed,” stated Tim Pringle. “The concept of natural capital and natural assets can be a challenge to integrate effectively into asset management practices. Local governments need ‘real numbers’ to deliver outcomes and support decision making. EAP deals with a basic question: what is a creekshed WORTH, now and in future, to the community and various intervenors?”

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Improving Where We Live – “The Symposium provided a huge boost to MVIHES, in our efforts to draw attention to our ‘watershed health depends on you’ program,” stated Peter Law, President, Mid Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society (April 2019)


Peter Law narrated a video about the environmental conditions and challenges faced in the Shelly Creek watershed. The video includes an overview of the condition of the Shelly Creek stream channel for Coho salmon and Cutthroat trout. It also illuminates the efforts of MVIHES to preserve and protect the stream. “At Parksville 2019, the field day at Shelly Creek was a big hit, in large part due to the charismatic personality of stream restoration innovator Dave Derrick in conducting both the classroom and outdoor lectures,” stated Peter Law.

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Beacons of Hope on Vancouver Island – “We are moving into the exciting part of the program. We are moving into restorative development,” stated Richard Boase, Water Stewardship Symposium Series Moderator, when he shared his perspective on featured Vancouver Island success stories to start the afternoon session on Day Two of the Symposium (April 2019)


“Some heavy lifting has gone into the wonderful stories that we are sharing at the symposium. Most importantly, there is a return on investment when restoring natural systems,” stated Richard Boase. “There is a lots of work yet to be done. What if community groups started coming forward and saying we like this project because we believe there is a restoration return on investment? The takeaway message is that, from an asset management perspective, these restored assets are going to give us a return.”

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Beacons of Hope on Vancouver Island – “Bowker and Brooklyn creek restoration success stories are provincially significant precedents. Inspirational in scope, each has a long history,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC, in his context presentation for the afternoon session on Day Two of the Symposium (April 2019)


“Each demonstrates how local government partnerships with stewardship groups can be transformational and ‘improve where we live’. These precedents are beacons of hope,” stated Kim Stephens. Stewardship operates under a different dynamic than the private sector or government. Stewards are drawn together for a common cause, like-minded individuals with a vision for the greater good. This purpose is not to be found in the policy manuals of government, nor in regulations or legislation. Rather, it is built upon an enthusiastic personal commitment and passion by a band of individuals to make a difference.

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Parksville 2019 on YouTube > Bowker Creek Daylighting in the Capital Regional District – “We are changing the way we develop land by attempting to re-engineer the hydrological function back into our urban landscape. We are, in some ways, cultivating a new land ethic,” stated Jody Watson, Past-Chair, Bowker Creek Urban Watershed Renewal Initiative (April 2019)


Bowker Creek flows through three municipalities: Saanich, Victoria and Oak Bay. Degraded over generations, and buried for much of its length, Bowker restoration demonstrates how a good strategy is the path to success. The Bowker Creek Urban Watershed Renewal Initiative serves as a how-to-guide for a ‘top-down & bottom-up’ approach. Connect with the community and get the vision right. “The multi-jurisdictional nature of our watersheds requires the collective commitment of local and senior government agencies, First Nations, and communities to improve the health of our watersheds,” stated Jody Watson.

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