In February 2019, the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) started moving ahead with the development of an Agricultural Plan for the Squamish Valley. The plan is being developed in partnership with the District of Squamish and Squamish Food Policy Council, following a successful funding application to the Investment Agricultural Foundation of BC.
Upland Agricultural Consulting was hired to develop the plan. The intent of the Squamish Valley Agricultural Plan is to build upon an expressed desire by the agricultural and food systems community to create a plan that will assist agriculture and related sectors. The Agricultural Plan will also build on the work and findings of the Squamish Valley Agricultural Land Use Inventory (ALUI) completed in 2017.
On January 28, 2020, the DRAFT Squamish Valley Agricultural Plan (SVAP) was presented to the District of Squamish Council, and was given initial endorsement. On January 30, 2020, the DRAFT SVAP was presented to the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Board of Directors, where it was also given initial endorsement.
The project team is now in the process of finalizing the plan based on Council, Board, and public feedback. The final plan is anticipated in April 2020.
As part of the planning process, a Background Report and Market Opportunities Analysis have been developed. These reports support the Ag Planning process. The Squamish Valley Agricultural Plan (SVAP) Background Report provides an overview of the biophysical features of the agricultural sector. In addition, it contains an overview and review of existing planning and policy documents framed through the lens of agriculture. The SVAP Market Opportunities Analysis identifies opportunities for agriculture to thrive and contribute to the economic sustainability of the Squamish Valley and region. The Engagement Summary Report details all engagement activities conducted to date and the resultant findings.
Meaningful public engagement is an important component of developing an effective plan. Project work to date has included a kick-off event at the Brackendale Art Gallery on March 10th, an online survey, and Steering Committee meetings. In addition, members of the consulting team visited the Squamish Farmers' Market on May 25th and met with both vendors and market-goers. A brief presentation about the Agricultural Plan was given at the Ashlu Creek Foundation on May 25th, and members of the project team conducted a site visit in the Squamish Valley. A second public Open House was held at the Squamish Adventure Centre on February 20, 2020.
Squamish Valley Agricultural Plan Steering Committee (SVAPSC)
An Agricultural Plan Steering Committee has been formed to guide and contribute to the development of a comprehensive Agricultural Plan for the Squamish Valley. Made up of residents of Squamish and the Upper Squamish Valley (SLRD Electoral Area D), members bring expertise in agriculture, food systems, community economic development and related matters.
This Agricultural Plan project is being funded in part by Agriculture and Agri-Foods Canada and the Government of British Columbia through programs delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C.