Uncover Your Creeks participants learn about the urban watershed in Vancouver's Renfrew Ravine. (Photo: Evergreen)

To engage community members in a monitoring and restoration program for creeks and wetlands in Burnaby, North Vancouver and Vancouver.

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Uncover Your Creeks

Uncover Your Creeks is a "citizen science" monitoring and restoration program that was offered in the watersheds of five municipalities – Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster and Surrey – from April 2013 to March 2014.

Evergreen worked with the municipalities and hundreds of community members to rehabilitate priority riparian (streamside) areas; show human impact on urban streams; and engage in participatory water quality monitoring. They now have skills and knowledge to be empowered advocates for responsible decision making, for themselves and their communities.

Participants also had the opportunity to engage in public consultations on parks master planning, and in discussions on climate change impacts in watersheds and the role of municipal climate adaptation strategies in mitigating those impacts.

One of the project's education initiatives was the Urban Watersheds Forum. It resulted in a report and a working group of municipalities, researchers and non-profit organizations – facilitated by Evergreen – that is collaborating to create a regional water quality database for Metro Vancouver.

Evergreen will continue to offer monthly stewardship events until December 2016, with concurrent training of volunteer groups to take on independent stewardship after that time. The organization will also further dialogue between the urban watershed stewardship community and local decision- and policy-makers through the working group.

Our grant helped Evergreen to reach key audiences and stakeholders from across sectors, watersheds and municipalities – all with relevant roles in contributing to sustainable land use practices in an urban watershed context.

Evergreen’s collaborative online space has provided opportunities for volunteers to interact and get tailored information about local urban watersheds.