I was recently asked a question to explain some of my vision statements. Specifically
- Our City becoming a leader in stewardship of our environment, promoting sustainable agriculture and water shed management.
Here is my response.
Watershed management in my platform referrers to two things.
1) The city developing Water Balancing practices similar to the work in the Cowichan Valley and Gibson. The concept is to reduce storm water run off through storm drains and return that water to the ground water system. This is accomplished by using pervious surfaces to allow water to seep through into the ground instead of being collected into the storm drains. We can accomplish this by using paving stones instead of pavement for our roads, driveways and sidewalks. We can do this work at the subdivision stage and when we are replacing existing infrastructure. We can also encourage the develop of rain gardens in backyards to collect rain from the roofs and return that to the ground water over time.
The environmental benefits of this is that we put more water back into the ground water which then puts more water into our streams and rivers. We can then do restoration on our streams and creeks to bring back the salmon habitat through partnerships with organization like Streamkeepers.
The economic benefit is there is less wear and tear on our existing infrastructure and we need to build less infrastructure for storm water which means that we have less to replace in the future. The CVRD has a very good brochure on this practice. http://waterbucket.ca/viw/files/2015/04/CVRD-EI-Brochure-WaterBalance_FINAL_2014.pdf
2) The city needs to look at options for the watershed for our drinking water with the idea of securing title to this land so that the city has full control over it forever.
Sustainable Agriculture refers to the practice of farming techniques that help protect the environment, public health and animal welfare. We need to find ways to encourage farming and food production not only in our city but in partnership with the Regional District. One idea is to setup incubation farms to allow potential farmers the ability to “try it out” without having to buy property. We presently have a park on East Wellington Road that is presently being looked at by the city on how we wish to develop it. The park is basically a hay field that is hayed once a year and floods during the winter. This property could be developed as small parcels of land to lend to people to work. We could do this in partnership with the University to be a training ground for new farmers using sustainable farming practices.
I would also like to see a partnership with the City and the 5 acres farm in Harewood with the idea of protecting the farm for future generations.