Still Creek restoration plan

July 18th, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Still Creek restoration plan aims to bring back salmon for good

(Vancouver) – Still Creek made history in 2012 when salmon were coaxed to navigate deep within the boundaries of Metro Vancouver and spawned here for the first time in over 80 years. This breakthrough, hailed as a small but iconic victory for the entire region, proved what many thought impossible: even partially buried waterways with an intensive urban-industrial history can be recovered to the point where life returns. But can this hopeful glimmer of life be encouraged to stay for good? 

Children play make-believe along a lost and buried portion of Still Creek, unknowingly mimicking scenes from the past when there was a real creek to play in. An old-timer recalls "Still Creek was our evenings and weekends". The Still Creek watershed restoration plan offers hope for recovering this natural treasure. Mural and photo by: Still Moon Arts Society

Children play make-believe along a lost and buried portion of Still Creek, unknowingly mimicking scenes from the past when there was a real creek to play in. An old-timer recalls “Still Creek was our evenings and weekends”. The Still Creek watershed restoration plan offers hope for recovering this natural treasure. Nootka Mural 2014 by: Still Moon Arts and photo by: Yoko Tomita

Recent water quality improvements in Still Creek, and the addition of fish ladders that help make passage possible, have enabled a small group of chum salmon to reappear in their historic breeding grounds in East Vancouver, after making a harrowing journey in the dark beneath major roadways to achieve their “rewilded” destination. Now a bold vision is emerging to shift from a relatively piecemeal to a more systematic restoration of the Still Creek watershed, which is required to make a suitable home for a larger salmon population into the future.

” The community has expressed a desire to see salmon spawning all the way up to 29th avenue,” says Carmen Rosen, Executive Director of the Still Moon Arts Society, which has been engaged in efforts like stream restoration and youth art projects within Still Creek for nearly two decades. “Through this latest project we’re celebrating what we’ve done right to make this happen, and taking it to the next level.”

The Still Moon Arts Society, Silva Forest Foundation, Simon Fraser University, the Greenest City Fund, and the Charles & Lucille Flavelle Family Fund held at the Vancouver Foundation, have teamed up to provide the science, funding and community vision that are required to bring more native plants and animals back to Still Creek. Working with residents, students, artists and the City of Vancouver, the project partners are developing a watershed-wide restoration plan that ranges from collaborating with local schools and “rewilding” city parks, to creating rain gardens and mini-rainforests in private yards.

“We are excited to see ongoing efforts to green Still Creek,” says Doug Smith, Acting Director of Sustainability for the City of Vancouver. “This type of work by groups throughout the community is a valuable contribution to making Vancouver one of the greenest cities in the world, and helps us move closer to meeting our Greenest City, Biodiversity Strategy and Rainwater Management Plan goals.”

Still Creek is one of only two remaining streams in Vancouver not entirely locked underground in pipes and drains. The watershed that feeds the creek spans all the way from Renfrew-Collingwood in East Vancouver to the edge of Burnaby Lake. Once an old-growth forest, Vancouver’s historic creeks lost many of their natural functions as the city developed over and around them. The new plan for Still Creek focuses on restoring key features and ecosystem services to as close to the original state as is practical, with the end goal of stronger salmon returns, more cost-effective and long-term management of rainwater and seasonal flooding, and more nature for all to benefit from and enjoy. Earlier this year, the City of Vancouver estimated the value of its “Greenest City” brand at $31 billion, indicating that businesses and a host of other regional interests stand to gain a great deal from these sorts of improvements in land stewardship and, ultimately, our lifestyles. 

About the Greenest City Fund

“The City of Vancouver and Vancouver Foundation teamed up to create the $2 million Greenest City Fund to support community projects that will help make Vancouver the greenest city in the world by 2020. We want to accomplish this dream by supporting ideas generated and implemented by the community. Find out more about the Greenest City Fund on the Vancouver Foundation or City of Vancouver websites.” Source: Vancouver Foundation website

Media Contacts:

Carmen Rosen, Executive Director

Still Moon Arts Society

stillmooncarmen@shaw.ca

Herb Hammond, Executive Director

Silva Forest Foundation

hhammond@netidea.com

[SMAS] June 2016

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 11.21.16 PMCheck out our June newsletter, full of updates and upcoming events. Click here for the full version of our newsletter, or click here to sign up for our monthly newsletters to receive the news first!

Youth Organize Ravine History Talk and Tour

On May 29th, the Youth Stewardship Committee organized a talk at the South Ravine Sanctuary Garden to celebrate the rich ecological and community-oriented history of the Renfrew Ravine, followed by a tour of the ravine.

Terry Tayler, a long-time resident of Renfrew-Collingwood and a founding member of Still Moon Arts, and Chitha Manoranjan, a Windermere Secondary alum and Still Moon Arts’ Youth Engagement Coordinator, were both invited to share their experiences with the ravine. In their talks, the transformative journey of Renfrew Ravine was brought to light.

It was in the 1990s and early 2000s when Terry Tayler, who was associated with Collingwood Neighbourhood House, began to spearhead the stewarding of the ravine. The overwhelming consensus from the community at the time was that everyone wanted it to remain a natural space and for it to thrive as a healthy ecosystem coexisting in the urban bustle. Biannual garbage clean-ups with local community groups and individuals were initiated to clear the years of accumulated garbage. Initially, several dumpsters were filled at each clean-up, but each subsequent clean-up each year saw fewer dumpsters. Slowly but surely, the community’s mindset about the ravine was changing, and the vision of those originally surveyed community members was starting to materialize. Part of this can be attributed by the work of the Still Creek Stewardship Society and Still Moon’s Carmen Rosen when she moved into the neighbourhood. This work was essential in engaging the community with the ravine and re-establishing it as an environmentally centered community space.

In Chitha’s talk, we saw how the work of the pioneering team allowed for a generational shift in knowledge and stewarding, as students from Windermere Secondary School in the 2000s began to take on a large role in the ecological restoration of the site. As we heard, volunteering in the ravine began as just something you had to do as a Leadership student, but for many students, it became this opportunity to express their wonder and curiosity of nature with their friends. Without hesitation, students would grab shovels  to tackle the invasive blackberries and explore the ravine for what seemed like hours, but in reality only saw the students move up the ravine a couple of streets. Experiences like these have kept working in the ravine endearing, and have influenced Windermere graduates to pursue studies and careers in ecosystem design, consultation, and restoration.

Today, a new generation of youth are continuing a now traditional experience working in the ravine previously established by the early stewards in the ‘90s. During the ravine tour, participants were quickly able to identify some sites that they have worked on, such as the ivy-woven bionetting site by the Skytrain station and the newly planted pollinator gardens beside the labyrinth. Following the tour of the ravine, one of the youth participants commented that every time she has a ravine walk, it still never gets boring and there’s an opportunity to learn something new each time. And as another youth noted, the stories shared by Terry and Chitha were both different, but connected a shared passion for the ravine. With that, it’s exciting to see how the next generation of youth will continue to build on the history of the Renfrew Ravine.

Stay tuned as the youth stewardship committee continues our monthly activities! We will be taking a closer look at invasive species of the ravine for the month of June.

 

[SMAS] May 2016

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 11.09.15 PMCheck out our May newsletter, full of updates and upcoming events. Click here for the full version of our newsletter, or click here to sign up for our monthly newsletters to receive the news first!

2016 Job Postings

We are incredibly excited to be hiring three summer job positions and a one-year contract position. More information about each position, as well as a document detailing responsibilities and qualifications, can be found below.
Resume and cover letter for all four positions are due by Tuesday May 24th 2016 by 1:00pm.

Applications for the summer job positions (not one-year contract) must:

    1. be between 15 and 30 years of age at the start of the employment;
    2. have been registered as full-time students in the previous academic year and intend to return to school on a full-time basis in the next academic year;
    3. be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, or person to whom refugee protection has been conferred under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act2; and,
    4. be legally entitled to work in Canada in accordance with relevant provincial or territorial legislation and regulations.

Summer Student Position #1: Communications and Administration Assistant

This position will work with the Artistic Director, members of the Still Moon Board, and the summer team. It is designed to fulfill the administrative and outreach needs of the Society while catering to the goals of the summer student. Through this job, the student will be able to support and build a deeper understanding of the daily administrative and artistic tasks required to run a small non-profit community arts organization.

June 13th, 2016 – August 19th, 2016 (10 weeks. 35 hrs./week)

Click here for detailed job posting.

Summer Student Position #2: Still Creek Stories Project Editorial Assistant & Webmaster

The position will work with the Artistic Director, book publisher, Still Moon staff and Board, and other key stakeholders. It is designed for a student who has strong writing, editorial and computer skills and is interested in new media publishing and historical storytelling in an art book publication. The student will receive an editorial assistant credit for their successful work on the published book. Considerable creative latitude will be given to a highly motivated and skilled student interested in developing accessible and engaging web content.

June 13th, 2016 – August 19th, 2016 (10 weeks. 35 hrs./week)

Click here for detailed job posting.

Summer Student Position #3: Stewardship Coordinator & Special Projects Assistant

This position will work with the Artistic Director and the Still Moon summer team focused on the Renfrew Ravine. It is designed to support artistic or scientific endeavors of the student, with opportunity for the student to utilize their expertise and existing skillset. The summer student will be mentored by a variety of stakeholders with expertise in event planning, ecology, and art.

June 13th, 2016 – August 12th, 2016 (9 weeks. 35 hrs./week). Optional work period: June 27th, 2016 – August 26th, 2016

Click here for detailed job posting.

One-Year Contract Position: Youth Engagement Coordinator

Under the supervision of the Artistic Director, the Youth Engagement Coordinator will be responsible for coordinating opportunities for youth aligned with the organization’s mission. This position provides an enthusiastic, self-driven individual an opportunity to work in a small community arts organization with a passionate team. Considerable creative latitude will be given to a highly motivated and skilled individual interested in building capacity for youth in the community.

June 13th, 2016 – June 13th, 2016 with possible extension (12 hrs/week)

Click here for detailed job posting.

[SMAS] April Newsletter

Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 12.18.27 PMCheck out our April newsletter, full of updates and upcoming events. Click here for the full version of our newsletter, or click here to sign up for our monthly newsletters to receive the news first!

Youth Stewardship Committee Tours Ravine

On April 27th, the Youth Stewardship Committee got to experience a tour of the Renfrew Ravine. For some of the youth, it was their first time exploring the ravine and all its various landmarks, while for others, there were still new things to see and stories to be heard.20160427_175300

As part of the committee’s work this year to encourage interest in the ravine among their fellow youth, this tour allowed them to learn more about the history of the ravine and why we do all that we do to steward the space. From learning about the old cars that have been pulled out from the ravine not too long ago, figuring out how many people it takes to wrap around the old red cedar stump, and learning about the invasive Japanese Knotweed, the youth were captivated and full of questions. Stay tuned for future activities by the Youth Stewardship Committee!

 

[SMAS] March Newsletter

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 10.18.17 PMCheck out our newest March newsletter, full of updates and upcoming events. Click here for the full version of our newsletter, or click here to sign up for our monthly newsletters to receive the news first!

Honey, We’re Home: Annual General Meeting and Housewarming Party

You’ll ‘hive a great time .. We’re not ‘pollen your leg!

Join us for our celebrations as we move back into our office space at VIVO and mark another buzz-worthy year of programs and events at Still Moon Arts! This year’s AGM features Brian Campbell, Founder of Blessed Bee Apiaries and the Bee School!

And don’t miss out on:
– honey tasting
– DIY beehives
– silent auction
– Love Poems for the Bees

Appetizers and light refreshments provided! (gluten free options available)

Tickets: $10 to $25 sliding scale at the door (membership included)

Doors open at 6:30 PM
AGM: 7:00-7:30 PM
Celebrations: 7:30-9:30 PM

RSVP at mail@stillmoon.orgSMAS_12th_AGM_poster copy

Spring Break programs!

We kept ourselves busy during the two week break and offered two sets of programs for youth. In the first week, youth in Renfrew Collingwood and youth and families from the Collingwood Aboriginal Youth C.R.E.W came together for a special two-day workshop on indigenous arts. Cedar weaver Contessa Brown taught the group how to weave rope-twist bracelets and cedar roses out of red and yellow cedar and shared the history and traditional uses of cedar. The group also learned how to create intricate beaded-earrings with Crystal Kacheech.

 

As the first week wrapped up, youthimagejpeg_2
got a chance to get a couple feet off the ground with our Intro to Stilt Walking Workshops. Professional dancer and acrobatic stilt-walker, Isabelle Kirouac taught the beginner level stilters the basics of movement on stilts – a truly impressive sight! And none of this would have been possible without the support of our funders at the BC Arts Council who make our 2015/16 Youth Engagement Program possible.

For more photos of the Intro to Stilt Walking Workshops, check out our gallery here.