Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC

    IN MEMORIAM: Gail Adrienne (1944-2020), founding Executive Director, Nanaimo & Area Land Trust (NALT) – “Gail was a force FOR nature”

    Vancouver Island’s Gail Adrienne had her hands, heart and soul (and considerable will) invested in NALT’s and the Nanaimo community’s stewardship success. Her legacy is felt when hiking Mount Benson or looking up at its seasonal snow-covered heights. Her work is reflected in B.C.’s thriving land trust movement. Her efforts inform the decisions made by the City of Nanaimo’s Environment Committee and are reflected in the City’s Official Community Plan.

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    BOWKER CREEK FORUM: Program Overview for an Integrated Approach to Urban Watershed Management – “A rousing opening address by Eric Bonham set the tone for the day. His inspirational ‘call to courage’ was framed around the Mission Possible theme,” stated Kim Stephens, Forum co-organizer (February 2010)

    “Over a long period of time, the Bowker Creek Initiative (BCI) has demonstrated how to apply a ‘regional team approach’ to urban watershed restoration in the Georgia Basin. The players driving the BCI have brought their shared vision to fruition through development of the Bowker Creek Blueprint.The Bowker Creek Forum on February 23, 2010 was a celebration of the Bowker Creek Blueprint. Because the Blueprint accomplishment is of province-wide significance, the Forum was also an opportunity for inter-regional learning,” stated Kim Stephens

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    CONVENING FOR ACTION ON VANCOUVER ISLAND: The first “Meeting of the Minds” forum in 2005 was the first milestone in a process that resulted in the “CAVI, Leadership in Water Sustainability” initiative, launched exactly one year later at a consultation workshop held in conjunction with the Water in the City Conference (September 2006)

    “There were a number of initiatives on Vancouver Island that were focusing upon the theme of sustainability. It was a matter of seeking out partnerships to reinforce the common theme of sustainability based upon an island wide communications information exchange network,” recalled Eric Bonham, the visionary behind Meeting of the Minds. “We did a survey. It was clear that there was widespread interest in holding a workshop that would provide an opportunity for the exchange of information, and to explore the possibility of establishing a communications network for the Vancouver Island region.”

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    AT THE BOWKER CREEK FORUM: “We also talk about watershed governance in the report. It is very difficult to do watershed planning if you have fragmented jurisdictions,” stated Calvin Sandborn, Legal Director of the Environmental Law Clinic at the University of Victoria, when he announced the release of Re-Inventing Rainwater Management in the Capital Region (February 2010)

    “It’s time for the Capital Region – and other BC communities — to build on the many local green infrastructure initiatives and implement such infrastructure across the landscape. That’s why we issued this report. We document how ‘green’ rainwater management has now been adopted by engineers, developers, planners and governments across North America. ‘Design with Nature’ approaches and Low Impact Development techniques are environmentally superior, and often are cheaper. In addition, they can provide incalculable benefits,” stated Calvin Sandborn.

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    AT THE BOWKER CREEK FORUM: “What does the Bowker Creek Blueprint have in common with the City of Philadelphia’s green infrastructure initiative? What they have in common is peeling back paved surfaces and restoring an absorbent sponge, ” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability, when he set the stage for a guided conversation on implementing a new culture for watershed restoration (February 2010)

    “It has been interesting to follow the Philadelphia story for the past year because there was skepticism initially. Now we are hearing more and about what Philadelphia is doing. The reason that I wanted to flag the comparison with Philadelphia is that does tell you that the paradigm-shift is coming. As we get the word out as to about the Bowker Creek Blueprint, I believe that people will begin to look at and appreciate what the Bowker Creek Initiative has accomplished on the ground. What is happening in Bowker Creek will begin to inform the Philadelphias of the North American continent,” stated Kim Stephens.

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