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Community, cooperation, and a collective care for nature

By Coun. Michael Wolfe

Published 12:00 PDT, Tue September 15, 2020

Last Updated: 3:25 PDT, Tue September 15, 2020

In 2020 we are all learning many lessons. Earlier this year, it just so happens I was teaching a revised unit on pandemics to my science students. That was weeks before the novel coronavirus poked its viral DNA into our region.

Thankfully, we in Richmond are collectively weathering the storm and leading with some of the best regional data (meaning our cases are lower per capita).

Fingers crossed we hold this trend, but it seems it is more than luck. Our island geography provides definite edges with the river and our human biology includes forward thinkers with a moral compass. We are capable of leading to a just recovery.

But how can we script a new cultural narrative for a post COVID-19 plan for Richmond?

The Council Strategic Plan 2018-2022 has been an asset in this process. Council in Richmond is guided by eight focus areas. After working with this plan for nearly two years, I can attest that it is responsive to new circumstances as they arise.

Richmond is our hometown and during this pandemic, we have relied on our local community like never before. Our neighbourhood roads, trails, and parks have become more heavily visited along with our sites for recreation, art, and gatherings, albeit many of these being enjoyed from a distance.

Council Strategic Plan goal #3.1 is “Foster community resilience, neighbourhood identity, sense of belonging, and intercultural harmony”. This is visible in the new park signage installations, the recent Pride Week, and the upcoming Culture Days 2020.

We are reminded by Dr. Bonnie Henry and others in the public health field to be kind, be calm, and be safe. Our Community Ambassadors along with Bylaw Officers have been providing education and reporting on compliance statistics. We all deserve to be commended for our ability to cooperate within such uncertain times.

Consider Plan goal #8.1, “Increased opportunities for public engagement”, and take a step into a new civic role by applying for one of the 90 Advisory Committee positions to provide your expertise and insights into decisions that shape our future.

Richmond has been referred to as the Child of the Fraser, an allusion to the bounty of fish from the river, and berries from the bog. We travel the 50+km of accessible trails in Richmond in order to connect with wildlife and scenic beauty. Kudos to those who share photos on social media and to those who report issues for improvement. By doing so, you are doing your part to “Increase opportunities that encourage daily access to nature” (Plan goal #2.4). Your interest in communicating what you discover within the City is essential to all our operations. Choose your next Richmond adventure and please report back. We would love to hear from you.

More about the Council Strategic Plan 2018-2022 can be found at www.richmond.ca/cityhall/council/about/strategicplan.htm

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