Recently, there has been some discussion on Facebook about what exactly is “the Bowen Way.” Those who commented mentioned being community-minded, coming together, having common goals, taking care of the environment, helping neighbours, picking up hitch-hikers, doing the right thing.
All of these comments touch on what is special about Bowen. But I also like the ending sentence of the description that was articulated through research with islanders and visitors: “Bowen just might change you…for the better.”
Working with the Bowen Island Community Foundation, I’ve been able to see how “the Bowen Way” comes to life through so much giving. An impressive number of Bowen families donate annually to the foundation’s endowment funds, giving back to the community in a way that creates personal meaning for them and has a significant impact on the community. And every year, the foundation receives fabulous grant ideas from individuals and organizations that want to make a difference in just about every sector possible: arts and culture, environment and parks, health and social well-being, education and youth and the lives of our seniors. The outpouring of your resources is a big part of “the Bowen Way.”
Everywhere you look on our island, the reality of “the Bowen Way” comes to life through ideas from Islanders realized through Community Foundation grants. The Garden Gateway greets us on our way back home. The Cove Commons inspires us with the passion and talent of the island’s artists. The bike park challenges our youth with a safe place for skill development. The Bowen Children’s Centre Infant Toddler Annex cares for the youngest of our islanders. The disc golf course provides a new fun, healthy activity for all ages, while preserving land as park space.
To me, “the Bowen Way” is the effect this island and the people who choose to live here have on each of us, making us better as individuals and as a community. I don’t think that’s changed in the 20 years I’ve been here.
In this upcoming season of giving, please consider “the Bowen Way” and gift to your Community Foundation.