Capital Region’s ‘Bowker Creek Blueprint’ demonstrates that “Outreach is a Powerful Tool”

The Bowker Creek Initiative in British Columbia’s Capital Region is a unique multi-jurisdictional effort. Four local governments, community groups, post-secondary institutions and private citizens are collaborating to implement A 100-Year Action Plan to Restore the Bowker Creek Watershed.

The Bowker Creek Blueprint demonstrates the power of a ‘top-down and bottom-up strategy’ – that is, major breakthroughs happen when champions in local government and in the community share a vision and align their efforts.

The arts are an effective way to engage the broader community,” states Soren Henrich, a community leader whose personal passion is organizing pennant printing workshops to connect people with the watershed. “Community celebration events draw people out and bring them together. Our experience is that the community events are the forums for engagement.”

“People eagerly embrace the opportunities for engagement and education. They really want to share their thoughts and experiences. Residents have a stake in restoring watershed health. There is so much experience that we can mine. We who live in the watershed are the experts.”

Learn More: To download a PDF copy of the WaterBucket article that elaborates on this provincially significant initiative, click on Capital Region’s ‘Bowker Creek Blueprint’ Demonstrates that “Outreach is a Powerful Tool”. And to access the Bowker Creek homepage on WaterBucket, click here.

ISMP COURSE CORRECTION: A decade ago, local governments in British Columbia were venturing into uncharted waters when undertaking watershed-based plans called Integrated Stormwater Management Plans, and known by the acronym ISMP.

The Bower Creek Initiative has gone well beyond any other plan in terms of how it has achieved consensus; and how it has galvanized commitment to move from planning to action on the ground. It is informing a provincial ‘course correction’ in how to develop an ISMP that is affordable and effective, and create a legacy.

The Bowker Creek Blueprint is referenced throughout Beyond the Guidebook 2010: Implementing a New Culture for Urban Watershed Protection and Restoration in British Columbia. There is now clear guidance for aligning local actions with provincial and regional goals to ‘design with nature’ so that British Columbians can create greener communities, live water smart and prepare for climate change.
News Release #2011-30
June 21, 2011

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