In January 2014, Capilano University hosted an Environmental Forum that was undertaken as a collaborative effort of the six North Shore and Howe Sound Community Foundations. The organizing committee had three tiers of desired outcomes:
A. IMMEDIATE: Connect Capilano University Earthworks & Global Stewardship students with environmental groups so that they can do their 40 hours of volunteer time
B. NEAR-TERM: Create an opportunity for environmental groups to meet with funders who have deep pockets
C. LONG-TERM: Explore where collaboration of the six Sea-to-Sky Community Foundations might lead vis-à-vis “convening for action”
The response from target audiences exceeded expectations: 127 people attended! Bowen Islanders had a noticeable presence, in particular: Stephen Foster delivered the keynote presentation on the theme of the Howe Sound Neighbourhood; and BICF Director Kim Stephens provided closing remarks that laid out a path forward for What Next.
The event accomplished all three desired outcomes: students were linked to environmental groups; contacts with funders were facilitated; and seeds were planted for continuing collaboration among the six community foundations. Inter-foundation collaboration could lead to individual foundations hosting community forums,. It is anticipated that these would provide neutral settings for starting conversations that lead to dialogue and ultimately consensus on actions necessary to build on the notion “that we all live in the Howe Sound Neighbourhood”.
The goal is protect watershed and stream health. Through the ongoing efforts of Dr. Hans Schreier, the University of British Columbia is a partner in advancing a science-based approach that integrates the site with the watershed, stream and aquifer.
Our director, Kim Stephens is excited to report that his rooftop rainwater harvesting system is featured in a video series produced by UBC. Here is the link to his part in the series:
For those of you who are curious to learn more, here’s some background into this program:
In 2002, looking at rainfall differently led the Province of British Columbia to initiate changes in the ways rainwater runoff is returned to streams. The goal is protect watershed and stream health. Through the ongoing efforts of Dr. Hans Schreier, the University of British Columbia is a partner in advancing a science-based approach that integrates the site with the watershed, stream and aquifer. His latest contribution is the Innovations in Stormwater Management video series.
“It was a pleasure to showcase some of the local champions of low impact designs for urban rainwater and stormwater management in this video series,” states Dr. Hans Schreier, Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia. “Our interactive map shows all of our featured locations, and this is just a drop in the bucket in terms of what is out there!”
“Given the increase in climatic variability and urban land use intensification, it is high time that we promote innovations that deal with increasing flooding events and urban pollution. The video series features what some of the leaders in innovative stormwater management are doing in the Metro Vancouver region.”
“The video series is designed to show what individual house owners can do to manage rainfall, reduce their water footprint and minimize surface runoff from their property. At the neighbourhood scale, we feature municipal innovations that deal with roads and parking lot runoff; and at the watershed scale, we address the cumulative effects and the options to reduce all impacts from urban activities,” explains Julie Wilson, Academic Coordinator, Master of Land and Water Systems Program at the University of BC. Julie Wilson is the narrator and producer of the video series.
“This is our first attempt in trying to translate science into actions in the hope that these innovations will be increasingly mainstream in the future,” concludes Hans Schreier.