MNAI Communities

location map of MNAI communities throughout Canada

Inventory Communities

In previous years, MNAI focussed on supporting local governments through the entire natural asset management cycle, which includes the assessment, planning and implementation phases. However, interest grew rapidly amongst local governments to develop only a natural asset inventory, which is the first step in the assessment phase. Recognizing the importance of inventories as a quick, relatively inexpensive and contained first measure to launch natural asset management, MNAI started supporting these local governments in the development of inventories to help them build awareness, comfort and interest to undertake full natural asset management projects.

Logy Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador

Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove (LBMCOC) is a small community of 2,200 people near St. John’s Nfld that’s been growing rapidly over the past few years. To ensure the growth is sustainable and can maintain its rural charm, LBMCOC embarked on its natural asset management journey by developing an inventory. The results will help the Town make evidence-based decisions on how to manage its overall asset management practices.

Logy Bay
In late 2020, the Greenbelt Foundation provided funding to enable MNAI to work with nine Ontario local governments and 21 from other provinces – almost simultaneously – to develop their inventories. This Inventory Acceleration project represents the largest cluster of municipal natural asset inventories in the country and will help motivate more municipalities to value, protect, enhance and restore nature and its services. 
City of Surrey, BC

City of Surrey, British Columbia

The City of Surrey (population ~571,610) is located in British Columbia south of the Fraser River and north of the Canada–United States border. It is a member municipality of the Metro Vancouver Regional District and metropolitan area and the province’s second-largest city by population.

Surrey’s interests in natural asset management relate to reducing the impacts of growth, climate change, stemming biodiversity loss, and its 2019 declaration of a climate emergency.

Township of Langley, British Columbia

The Township of Langley (population ~134,000) is a district municipality in southwestern British Columbia. Not to be confused with the nearby City of Langley, the Township extends south from the Fraser River to the U.S. border, and west of the City of Abbotsford.

The Township is largely agricultural but has recently experienced substantial development. It has three main interests in natural asset management. First, the Township wants to develop a baseline of the natural assets on which it relies and/or manages, and related to this, an understanding of the interconnectivity between built infrastructure and natural assets. Second, the Township wants to build a foundation for a natural capital asset management plan, which it is planning on developing beginning in 2021. As part of this, the Township also wants to complete tasks highlighted in the Strategic Asset Management Plan and Climate Action Strategy.

Township of Langley, BC
City of Prince George, BC

City of Prince George, British Columbia

The City of Prince George (population ~86,000) is in northern British Columbia at the confluence of the Fraser and Nechako rivers. Prince George has three main interests in natural asset management. First, it wants to understand what natural assets they own and rely upon and what services these provide to the community. This understanding will help Prince George better manage and protect the natural assets; for example, it could mitigate drainage issues resulting from large-scale tree removal. It could also help Prince George obtain sufficient funding for maintenance and/or protection of natural assets.

City of West Kelowna, British Columbia

The City of West Kelowna, formerly Westbank (population ~36,500), is located in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. West Kelowna’s interest in natural asset management is three-fold. First, West Kelowna would like to have a comprehensive understanding of both natural and physical municipal assets to support planning, development and financial decisions, as well as investments in the community.

City of West Kelowna, BC
Dufferin County, Ontario

Dufferin County, Ontario

Dufferin County (population ~61,000) is an upper-tier municipal government located in Central Ontario, north-west of Toronto. The County seat is the Town of Orangeville. Dufferin County and its eight-member municipalities have three interests in natural asset management. First, they want a stronger understanding of the provisioning, regulating, and cultural services that natural assets provide to their communities, the environment, and biodiversity. Second, they want to increase the visibility and appreciation of the County’s natural assets. Third, they want to better the potential of natural assets to increase community and climate resiliency, including how they could use natural assets to increase the resilience of engineered infrastructure and municipal assets, and inform planning and asset-management decision-making.

City of Peterborough, Ontario

The City of Peterborough (population ~81,000) is located on the Otonabee River in Central Ontario, about 270 kilometres southwest of Ottawa. 

Peterborough has three main interests in natural asset management. First, it wants to better understand the core municipal services that natural assets provide, or could potentially provide, and risks natural assets may be exposed to. Second, Peterborough wants to identify opportunities for well-managed natural assets to deliver these services on their own, or as a complement to existing engineered assets. Third, Peterborough wants to enhance awareness of green infrastructure and ecosystem services across the local government to better inform planning and management activities.

City of Peterborough, Ontario
Town of Florenceville-Bristol, New Brunswick

Town of Florenceville-Bristol, New Brunswick

Florenceville-Bristol (population ~1,600) is a town located on the banks of the Saint John River in the northwest part of Carleton County, New Brunswick. The “naturalness” of the community is a reason many people choose to live there and is a feature of business and residential recruitment strategies. 

Florenceville-Bristol has already completed a natural asset management project with World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Canada and MNAI in one part of the community. The inventory project would build on this work and help Florenceville-Bristol better incorporate natural assets into municipal planning and existing asset management systems.

City of Markham, Ontario

The City of Markham (population ~329,000) is located in the Regional Municipality of York, approximately 30 kilometres northeast of downtown Toronto. It is the fourth largest city by population in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Markham is mostly urbanized; however, its northern and eastern portions remain rural and agricultural.

Markham owns approximately 950 hectares of natural open spaces including woodlands, wetlands, valley lands and grasslands. Many of these natural assets are open and accessible to the public and are local community landmarks.

Markham, Ontario
Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

The Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MODL – population ~25,000) is a district municipality in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia. 

MODL has three main interests in natural asset management. First, it wants a better understanding of the natural assets upon which it relies. This will ensure they take natural assets into account in future projects and policies, and helps focus efforts on their preservation. Second, MODL would like information regarding the role of natural assets to support infrastructure renewal. In this context, MODL plans to use inventory results to support asset management planning and the current capital assets plan. Third, MODL wants to ensure the inventory supports other plans and processes. For example, it could enhance MODL’s current land use planning and by-laws, improve planning strategies, and guide Minimum Land Use planning.

City of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

The City of Charlottetown (population ~40,500) is the capital and largest city of Prince Edward Island and the seat of Queens County. As a waterfront city, it is facing climate change impacts such as rising water levels, increased flood risk, increased intensity of storms, and frequent droughts. Services such as flood management and water quality improvements are high priority concerns due to growing impermeable surfaces in urban areas.

City of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Cohort 2 Communities

In 2018-2020, six additional local governments further refined the municipal natural asset methodology that was piloted in Cohort 1, and added additional practical examples to the evidence base for municipal natural asset management. City of Courtenay, BC, District of Sparwood, BC, City of Oshawa, ON, Town of Florencevillle-Bristol, NB, Town of Riverview, NB, Village of Riverside-Albert, NB

Cohort 1 Communities

In 2016-17, five pilot communities tested and refined the municipal natural asset management approach and methodology: the City of Nanaimo, BC, Town of Grand Forks, BC, District of West Vancouver, BC, Town of Oakville, ON, and the Region of Peel, ON. Each community selected a natural asset of interest within their jurisdiction with which to pilot municipal natural asset management, and the MNAI team worked closely with municipal staff to guide them through the methodology. You can read the summary of the findings here, or the full reports here.

Town of Gibsons, British Columbia

The community that started it all. Gibsons is fortunate to have many natural assets, which form a fundamental part of the Town’s infrastructure. The Gibsons Aquifer, for example, provides water storage and filtration, while delivering drinking water so pure it meets health standards without any chemical treatment.  Creeks and woodlands help manage the rainwater. And the foreshore area of the beaches acts as a natural seawall.  Click here for more information on the work they’ve completed to date on natural asset management.