Formed in the summer of 2013, Springer Creek Restoration and Preservation Alliance (SCRAPA) is an environmental stewardship group that promotes community engagement around Springer Creek. SCRAPA believes that a commitment to preserving and restoring the environment is key to unified, resilient community.
Vision and goals
Our vision is a healthy creek that contributes to the ecological value of the larger watersheds to which it belongs. In pursuit of this vision, we have three main goals: to preserve the Springer Creek Canyon; to restore the Creek’s outflow into Slocan Lake; and to assess industrial sites in the watershed that could impact water quality.
Our local situation has led us to develop two complementary aspects of stewardship education. We seek to promote awareness of the unique and valuable characteristics of our small creek well beyond the local community, and we seek to inform our local community about how important our small creek is to the health of the larger watersheds, and the economic and social benefits of adopting an environmental stewardship ethic.
Stewardship, community development, and recreation
As a small, newly formed group, we have had to respond creatively to an unusual geographic, social and economic situation. In terms of geography, the most ecologically significant part of the Creek, where the watershed joins that of the Slocan River, is also the location of the Village of Slocan, a community in transition from a resource-based economy. While we ultimately hope to cultivate in this local community a strong base of support for preservation and restoration, previous history and current economic depression have so far meant that an environmental perspective, while certainly present, is still a long way from being a significant force in strategic planning. This creates challenges for stewardship education and advocacy.
For example, we want to see Springer Creek Canyon preserved, but the Village holds, and plans to develop, a hydropower license that would impact the Canyon. We want to restore the lower portion of the Creek, but it currently flows through the former sawmill site, a large private lakefront property, whose development is likely necessary if the Village is to thrive again.
Given this complex situation, we realized that we needed to take local economic and social conditions into account. We therefore concluded that the best way ultimately to preserve and restore the Creek is to promote a convergence of economic development and environmental stewardship. A more resilient Village, with strong social and economic bonds, is more likely to appreciate Springer Creek’s ecological importance; and by committing to restoration and preservation, a newly branded Village might actually encourage sustainable growth, attracting public and private investors, visitors and new residents alike by emphasizing a strong stewardship ethic.
Confident in this analysis, we then sought a strategy for raising awareness of the unique ecological contribution of Springer Creek and the need for community development in the Village of Slocan. In this context, we decided that the best strategy for the moment, the best way to make Springer Creek interesting and important to both local and wider communities, is to emphasize the recreation value of the highly accessible lower reaches of the Creek. The theory here is that anyone who experiences the Creek, and the Village, and their intimate relationship, will be more likely to appreciate the necessity of environmental stewardship in sustainable development.
SCRAPA welcomes questions and comments. Please contact us at email@example.com or on facebook.