Updated May 9, 2017
A Replicable Model for Watershed Stewardship
The RATIO-designed Watershed Stewardship Centre at Kanaka Creek Regional Park in Maple Ridge opened to the public on Saturday, April 30 as part of the annual ‘Goodbye Chums’ release. More than 800 visitors visited the new Watershed Stewardship Centre and participated in the annual ‘Goodbye Chums” release. Partially funded by the local community, the Centre is designed as a replicable model for watershed stewardship, sustainability, education and grassroots engagement.
From KEEPS Chair Ev Fairbrother, “Managing stormwater is key to protecting the Kanaka Creek watershed. The outdoor classroom, including the ‘Roof to Creek’ water features and interpretive signage, create a powerful teaching environment. This Centre has been a long-time dream and driver for the stewardship organization who mustered support, donations and volunteers to help create this anchor for its successful education programs, stewardship projects, and outreach.”
Integration of Sustainable Design
The new, Ratio-designed Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre complements the Bell-Irving Hatchery built in 2013. By incorporating environmentally responsible design throughout the site and facility planning, the impacts of the overall development in this delicate watershed are minimized. The natural tones of wood are emphasized project wide to balance and enhance the building against the rich verdant of the park like setting in the summer months while brightening the location up in the darker, winter months. The predominantly wood superstructure and cladding maximize the carbon sequestration for a small building while creating an affordable framework for project delivery. The Watershed Stewardship Centre is in a campus-like setting where connectivity and circulation of the spaces are outdoors. The site seeks to naturalize itself against the ebb and flow of Kanaka Creek floods it is susceptible to. Natural swales are utilized immediately around the buildings to control and manage the storm-water flow into the creek.
“The addition of the Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre will offer education and grassroots engagement on the critical importance of watershed stewardship and environmental sustainability,” said Heather Deal, chair of Metro Vancouver’s regional parks committee. “We are thrilled to officially open this Centre in Maple Ridge for the enjoyment of all Metro Vancouver residents and visitors.”
In the works for years, the Centre is intended as an immersive and highly engaging place for visitors with a strong connection to the natural environment. Project funding came from Metro Vancouver, Pacific Salmon Foundation, Shell FuellingChange, KEEPS, Vancity and a bequest from the late George Ross. Pacific Parklands Foundation, a non-profit society established to support Metro Vancouver’s Regional Parks system, played a key role in fundraising. RATIO
From RATIO principal, Mike Mammone, “The volunteers and stakeholders behind the Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre are to be commended for their dedication and perseverance. The RATIO team is proud to have been part of the solution on the realization of this project. “
Read more about the organizations involved in this project:
KEEPS (Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society)
Pacific Parklands Foundation
Metro Vancouver Press Release on Kanaka Creek Watershed Stewardship Centre