A Rocha Canada’s Brooksdale Environmental Centre is set on an 18-acre property – a living lab of forests, a threatened river system, organic gardens and heritage houses. This unique combination of sensitive wildlife habitat and agricultural land makes this British Columbia centre a place where critical environmental issues are researched, addressed and solved.
A big decision was made by Metro Vancouver recently concerning the 600 acres surrounding the centre. Unfortunately, the vote went as anticipated: the board voted 82 to 52 in favour of moving Surrey’s plan forward to amend the regional growth strategy, allowing servicing to come down into South Campbell Heights to accommodate ‘employment use’ of these lands. One member said it was the most intensely debated, longest, and toughest decision made by the Metro Vancouver Board in the last 10 years!
‘An incredible group of people, some old friends and some new to us, spoke in opposition with insight, clear evidence, professionalism, personal experience, creativity and conviction,’ says David Anderson, the Brooksdale Centre Co-Director. ‘It was an outpouring of love for creation from a diverse group. Several Metro board members fought hard for conservation with eloquence and with a significant degree of courage, as it was a political risk for some.’
So what’s next? ‘Well first, we take a bit of rest,’ continues David, ‘allow ourselves to feel grief and some righteous anger, and name and celebrate hard work well done. And then we re-group with our partners, connect with some of the seasoned board members who were allies, and make a plan for how to engage the process going forward that will span years.
Thank you for your prayers, networking, letter writing, social media sharing and encouragement.’