LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “Work. See the barrier. Knock it down. As long as people continue doing that…..the 2003 Watershed Management Plan, the 2010 Blueprint, the 2020 Daylighting Feasibility Study, and so on will be kept alive that way,” stated Adriane Pollard, Manager of Environmental Services with the District of Saanich on Vancouver Island (March 2022)

Note to Reader:

Waterbucket eNews celebrates the leadership of individuals and organizations who are guided by the vision for Living Water Smart in British Columbia to build greener communities and adapt to a changing climate. The edition published on March 1, 2022 featured Adriane Pollard, Manager of Environmental Services with the District of Saanich.

A founding member of the Bowker Creek Initiative in the Capital Regional District on Vancouver Island, Adriane Pollard provides valuable insights into the role of the municipal champion as the interpreter of a Council-endorsed guidance document, and the process for translating a vision (creek daylighting) into a tangible outcome on the ground.

What the Intergenerational Baton Looks Like in Practice

“With the turnover in municipal staff in the District of Saanich, I have become the municipal champion for Bowker Creek. I remind colleagues of the municipal policies and that the Blueprint is a Council-endorsed document,” stated Adriane Pollard.

“The good thing about this role is that the more that I do it, the more other people in the organization get the picture and say ’this is the document that we are going to use for this and that purpose’. And when it comes to interpreting the document, other staff come to me.”

“Our community planner had to dive deep into the Blueprint for the Shelbourne Valley Action Plan. As a result, all the relevant policies from the Blueprint are in the Action Plan. That helps translate the Blueprint into what a potential developer needs to know – where they can develop and what the expectations are for rainwater management, tree canopy coverage, and especially stream daylighting.”

“The intergenerational baton is being accepted. I believe the Daylighting Feasibility Study is the Bowker Blueprint for this next generation of municipal employees and community people. It is a ground-breaking document. It is meaningful. It causes us to focus and act. It gives us the knowledge to go forward.”

Reimagining Shelbourne Road Corridor as the “Shelbourne Valley”

Approved by Council in 2017, the Shelbourne Valley Action Plan lays out a comprehensive 30-year vision and implementation plan for urban revitalization in the District of Saanich. The influence of the Bowker Creek Blueprint is reflected in re-imagining of the Shelbourne Road corridor as “the Shelbourne Valley”. This branding embedded a transformational change in mind-set.

“Those around the BCI table knew that we had to influence the Shelbourne plan because it is the 25-year plan for what happens to the road where the vast majority of Bowker is buried underneath,” stated Jody Watson, Past-Chair of the Bowker Creek Initiative.

“When the District of Saanich planning team started the Shelbourne process in 2009, they did not even show Bowker Creek on any map, anywhere. The planners said, it is in a pipe, it is just infrastructure. It took a really serious effort by our coordinator, by the staff champions at the municipalities, and by the community to open minds.”

“The Shelbourne plan was game-changing. If we had not convinced the planners to acknowledge the creek as part of the plan, it would have resulted in a missed opportunity, and it would have been 50 years before the next redevelopment cycle created another opportunity.”

To Learn More:

To read the complete story published on March 1st 2022, download a PDF copy of Living Water Smart in British Columbia: The Role of the Municipal Champion as the Interpreter.