Over the next 20 years, population in the Sea-to-Sky corridor is expected to double from 35,000 to nearly 70,000. Due to the fact that the communities in the corridor span two Regional Districts (Metro Vancouver and the SLRD), Provincial Crown Land, and several First Nations’ traditional territories, there is no one organization working to unify all the planning and conservation efforts in the corridor. Smart Growth BC is therefore offering a coordinated approach to bring government, industry, and citizens together to create a long-term land and water legacy to honour the Sea-to-Sky corridor, called the Greenbelt. The Greenbelt builds on wildlife and fisheries habitat conservation strategies by promoting linkages between existing and proposed green spaces, trails, and wildlife protection areas. The Greenbelt initiative involves five stages:
•Stage 1: Education and Outreach: Launch initiative and communications strategy;
•Stage 2: Research and Mapping: Final Presentations to Decision-Makers and Stakeholders;
•Stage 3: Proposed Implementation Strategy: Release Final Report;
•Stage 4: Towards an Implementation Strategy: Seek endorsements and motions of support;
•Stage 5: Adoption: Establishment of the Greenbelt;
The Stages 1, 2, and 3 of the Greenbelt initiative began in 2006 and were completed in the fall of 2008. Smart Growth BC managed all aspects of the project and contracted the Wilderness Committee to complete the Geographic Information System component of the mapping. The results of the mapping achieved our objectives and the feedback from the public sessions was extremely positive. We are waiting to hear about more funding before starting Stage 4 and Stage 5. The success of adopting a workable implementation strategy will be critical for the overall success of the initiative.