The summer is coming are you prepared to reduce your fire risk?
The warm weather seems to be finally here. Everyone is excited to enjoy our outdoor and summer activities. As much as we look forward to enjoying long summer days, the prospect of warm weather also brings on an anxiety around forest fires near and afar. Firesmart is a program to educate home owners on protecting their property and reducing their fire risk. The Cowichan Valley Regional District Firesmart Team along with our local Fire department are working hard to help educate residents on Firesmart principles and practices. I have helped organize two meetings in June for the community to learn from the Firesmart team directly, with time for discussion and questions. I hope you will join us for this important information night.
Firesmart Information Townhalls; The presentation will be about making your homes and properties more resilient to the threat of fire.
Tuesday June 14th at the Shawnigan Lake Community Centre at 7pm
Wednesday June 22nd at the Hub in Cowichan Station at 7pm
What’s new at the CVRD;
The continuous dumping of soil in South Shawnigan results in erosion that contributes a significant amount of sediment into the lake during the rainy season. (On some days the southend of the lake can even be seen to turn chocolate brown.) All this sediment has an impact on water quality and increases the growth of vegetation in the lake, including the invasive Eurasian Water Milfoil (for information on Milfoil removal please refer to thesra.ca/milfoil.) This year at the CVRD Board table we were able to change the zoning to no longer permit soil dumping on forestry land. There are a few remaining permits in operation but moving forward we should be able to decrease the soil dumping activity considerably.
Currently the Shawnigan Basin Society receives $10k/year from the CVRD Watershed Protection Program for water testing and characterization. On going testing and collection of this data is important for the program and it is also a valuable resource in better understanding the impacts of the current soil dumping. (Unfortunately soil dumping can not be completely prohibited as it is a provincial matter, but the CVRD has tried to limit where it can occur.)
There was a recent referendum topic approved by the CVRD Board regarding a switch to a Regional Recreation funding model. This will be coming to the poles in the fall. The CVRD will be asking if you support a user based funding model. There will be more information on this coming soon.
Planyourcowichan.ca is the hub for all community input on CVRD topics. The CVRD is looking for input on many topics as we are a region that needs to be prepared to preserve, complement and sustain a viable future. (Expect community information to be mailed to your residence). Please connect if you would like help organizing a neighbourhood input session or if I can help in any way. Have a great summer Shawnigan Lake!
As always happy to connect, Sierra.Acton@cvrd.bc.ca
Rail with Trail gets Green Light
Two of our loudest requests are being realized through the Rail with Trail project that connects Government Wharf Park to Old Mill Park. This project moves the community towards our goal of getting people off our roads and onto safe walking and biking paths. Support for the project was strong across our schools, local businesses and the greater community, especially village residents. They are all concerned with safety and supporting our local economy and the walkability of our community. I’m so excited for our future as we share our lake in a very special way! I viewed this decision with 3 lenses: environment, economic and social. Environment is protected through the diligent work of qualified environmental professionals, monitoring/mitigation plans and our professional parks staff (who often work in sensitive areas.) Second, I know the community wants to support local business and showcase our area to friends, family and visitors of all abilities. And thirdly, the pandemic showed us that we valued walking and being outdoors more than ever. We can now connect safely right beside our gem Shawnigan Lake as we walk/bike from Mason’s to Old Mill Park. Congratulations community!
There is no place like home
Shawnigan Lake is home to many diverse groups and perspectives with many different values, all valid and all important. Where do we meet in regards to environment, economic and social issues? Through the CVRD’s Harmonized Official Community Plan and Modernization we can design our future for how we want to live, work and play. I have learned if we give lots of input we have better outcomes for our community and more strength at the CVRD Board table. I hope you will participate.
The Official Community Plan (OCP) for the Electoral Areas is being updated to envision a resilient future and to provide strategic land use policy for the nine electoral areas. Policies are being updated to plan for some of the most pressing questions the CVRD faces today, such as: How can we accommodate new housing? How can we ensure safe access to drinking water for current and future residents? How can we grow our local economy? How can we respond to climate change?
Area plans are the places in the OCP where area-specific policies emerge to capture and enhance the unique identities and characters of each community. Policies within the area plans will include: public realm policies, density for housing, identification of lands for future housing and area-specific design guidelines.
There are Four different ways to participate in May. Two virtual (CVRD led) and two in person sessions (Hosted by myself);
Just come ready to connect with your fellow Shawnigan residents and discuss our future. Go to https://bit.ly/3kpVniv for introduction video. I am also happy to help neighbourhoods host a Community Circle on any of the eight topics, please let me know. Sierra.firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark your calendar and dust off your business cards!
The Shawnigan Lake Community Association is hosting a meet and mingle for all local business owners (home based or brick and mortar) and associations.
SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday, June 8th from 5-7
Go to: ShawniganLakeCommunityAssociation.ca for more details