Celebrate The Completion of The Project

Project Community

Our group has been working with two organizations for this project: UBC SEEDS and UBC Botanical Gardens.

UBC SEEDS (Social Ecological Economic Development Studies) Program, part of UBC Sustainability, began in 2000 as a result of UBC’s earlier “Greening the Campus” initiative. This program provides students with sustainability experience as they work with faculty and staff to create projects that address current, real-life sustainability issues. In addition, UBC SEEDS possesses a student library that holds over 800 student reports regarding sustainability.

Founded in 1916, UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research is a gorgeous landmark on campus with lush greenery, exotic plants, scenic walkways, and beautiful creeks. This well-known facility covers 78 acres and has withstood many challenges, including World War II and the Great Depression. Its inspiring, rich biodiversity encourages the education and research of plants and ecology.

Our project is just a small piece in the tapestry of UBC’s sustainability objectives and the development of the Botanical Gardens, but we are nevertheless honored to partake in the process. The data and information collected from this project will feed into other SEEDS projects underway, and in the future, with related goals.

Below is a picture of the poster we completed about our project:

What We Have Learned 

1. From Project Context

Before shifting attention to technical details about a project, it is essential to thoroughly understand the project context.

It is the responsibility of our CBEL team to understand the scope of influence and limitations that our system has over other systems that are connected. For example, because our project involves controlling stream water, it was crucial for us to realize the fact that our actions will mostly affect the systems downstream. Controlling the stream flow within the Botanical Garden can directly affect the rate of erosion in areas where the elevation is lower than the Garden’s. At the same time, the source of the stream water that originates from multiple locations around the university area is almost impossible to control from the Garden. Before moving to the planning stage, it was crucial for our CBEL team to identify what we can control and cannot control.

Besides the consideration for physical systems, it is essential to identify the people who are potentially affected by our project, A.K.A social systems. After consulting Doug, the Garden Manager, we were told that it is also a part of our objective to add an aesthetic appeal to the Garden in order to please visitors. If we succeed in making the garden look prettier, we will not only please visitors but also improve the garden’s international renown. An increase in the number of visitors will also bring in higher revenues, allowing the possibility for more staffs and ease employment issues.

A successful project not only depends on correctness in the calculations, but also the feasibility of its overall concept.

2. From Planning

In the initial stages of our project, when things were a little unclear, we learned the importance of planning and first developing scope. We were unable to do any work until we sat down and discussed what exactly this project was asking. After knowing what we had to do, it was still hard to move forward because we had no experience in the topics relevant to our project such as open channel flow and surveying. It was important that we researched this and were more comfortable by a certain date so the project would not be slowed down. We also learned that it is difficult for a group of six to find days where everyone was available. Our schedule was more about the general times we wanted tasks to be completed by because people did not know their commitments until closer to the date. We found it was best if we discussed when we were all available about a week before whatever we were meeting for. Finally we learned as much as you plan, the project changes and you must be able to adapt to whatever happens.

3. From Implementation

 At the same time, we also learned many useful skills from implementing the project. To accurately identify the geological condition of the stream, our team visited the site many times and did pane surveying. We used tape measure to determine the length and depth of the water flow. In addition, we also used GPS to identify the latitude and longitude of each point along the stream. To acquire the data for some special locations, we even used sticks and rulers to do our measurement. Even though the data we have may not as accurate as the professional equipment has, we learned the fundamental skills of surveying. This is a very significant skill for professional engineers, and it is also very helpful for us to do other projects in the future.

Project Implementation Progress and Outcomes


At the beginning of the semester, we were requested to help the UBC SEEDS and the Botanical Gardens slow down Rock Creek in order to reduce erosion in the stream bed and off the cliff across Old Marine Drive, make stream more full during low rain periods, reduce the risk of flooding at peak rain periods, and store water for emergency use or irrigation. The following post explores the progress, successes, and challenges we’ve had while striving to meet these objectives as well as the outcomes that have resulted from our time and effort.

Implementation Progress

In the past two weeks, we have focused on gathering detailed data about the site, such as flow rate data, stream dimensions, elevations and soil type. These sets of information will help us decide on the exact methods and locations to implement our ideas that most efficiently create a slower flow velocity in the stream.

In gather the stream flow rates, Patti, who also worked on this project in her fourth year of civil engineering, provided us access to the data collected from a probe throughout the year. When compared with the data from a similar probe in Dr. Atwater’s office, the water pressure in the stream at a given time can be found and used to calculate the volumetric flow rate through Rock Creek.

After the flow data had been collected, our team visited the stream to assess the dimensions of the stream in detail. The stream width and water depth was measured at various locations and will be used to calculate, along with the volumetric flow rate of that day, to calculated stream velocity at those locations. This, along with elevation data we gathered from VanMaps, provides us with an accurate dimensional picture of the stream. The height of the stream bank was also measured and important stream features, such as the abrupt changes in flow speed and elevation, were noted along the stream. We also noted that the banks and bed of the stream mostly consisted of stone and fine soils, such as silts or clays. This indicates that seepage around the stream is not a major point of concern, and storage of water along the stream is possible.

All the data we have collected will be compiled and used to determine which designs are more beneficial towards a specific location along the stream. We will consider the maximum allowed water level, should we decide to propose a dam or weir to store water; we will look into roughening locations in the stream that have shallower banks; we will optimize our recommendations to maximize the amount of water we can keep in the system throughout the year and minimize stream erosion during rainy seasons.

Gone Well 

Our objectives in the Botanical Garden project are being achieved successfully all thanks our access to large amounts of data. Internet websites such as Vanmap has provided us with accurate elevations along the stream, while Google maps provide us with a clear aerial view of the project site. UBC’s personnel have also been very supportive of our project. Doug, the garden manager, expressed his goodwill by touring the CBEL group through the garden on multiple occasions. Patti, on the other hand, allowed us access to the sensor data, which contained volumetric flow rates of the stream throughout the year. Lastly, the CBEL group personally conducted field measurements that included the cross sectional area of the stream, as well as coordinates and elevations along the stream.

With complete data obtained from sensors, field measurements, and the internet, the CBEL team succeeded in creating a detailed model of the stream and understanding its behaviors. We were able to identify limits in our knowledge of the system. Deficits in knowledge include erosion on the cliff, our scope for the garden, and our technical knowledge about open channel flow. Due to the completeness of the data, group members are free to apply knowledge learnt from the classroom in the planning of an effective strategy that tackles the client’s issues. After analyzing results from data and field surveys, we have identified the main cause of the cliff erosion to be the fast movement of water near the pipe opening.

Needed Extra Work

At the same time, there are still some aspects needed extra work. First of all, it was hard to get the ball rolling because our clients had different requirements and discrepancies of the project. Dr. James Atwater pointed out that the most important issue of the project was to reduce the erosion of the culvert and cliff; while Mr. Douglas Justice wanted our final solutions help more about water storage and potential stream flooding. Currently, our optimum solution focuses on slowing down the stream water in general, storing water for low rain periods, and preventing potential flood. We believe that there is nothing we can do to reduce erosion down the cliff, but we may come up with some additional suggestions to that erosion later in our report. In addition, we still need more survey to complete our data base of the geological condition and stream water. We have done the survey once, but based on our skills and tools, we did not get very accurate results. Therefore, Chris is planning to do one more survey and get some additional data. Finally, more information about electric machines, such as pumps, is also needed so that we can provide some other additional solutions, which may need higher costs, to our clients.

Project Outcomes

After collecting and measuring all the necessary data, our team was able to brainstorm a solution that will meet as many of the objectives as we can. First, we needed to rule out the potential solutions we believed wouldn’t have been the best for solving our problems:

  • We ruled out diverting the stream – due to plants and trees that cannot be moved, we can’t divert the stream too far from Rock Creek. Therefore, a diverted stream would flow to the same culvert as Rock Creek and would not solve the erosion through the creek.
  • One solution we thought might help would be widening the culvert at the bottom to prevent it from filling up to full capacity, which causes massive pressure build up – however, this is not feasible since the inconvenience of replacing the culvert tremendously outweigh the benefits it would bring.
  • Implementing ponds, weirs, or streambed roughening individually would not be sufficient in achieving our goals, which is why our optimum design involves all three.

Eliminating all the lacking ideas helped us determine the ideal solution:

At the top, we suggest widening the stream into a pond – this allows for maximum water storage

Immediately after the pond, we recommend adding a weir that is impervious on the surface, but permeable near the streambed. This will accomplish a controlled flow rate out of the pond, which reduces erosion, slows down the stream, and reduce the risk of flooding near the bottom of the stream.

1. During average pond depth, the water will flow into the pond and out the bottom of the weir as usual:

2. During peak pond depth, the weir will allow the water in the pond to flow out at a controlled rate due to the downward drainage in the pond:

3. If the pond were to reach a height that over-tops the weir, the flow rate would no longer be controlled. However, we will make an educated prediction of pond volume and weir height to ensure this happens only in rare situations:

  • We also recommend implementing many weirs throughout the length of the pond. We will do extensive research to determine the ideal locations of the weirs.
  • Near the bottom of the stream, we plan on reducing the energy of the flow with friction by roughening the streamed with rocks and plants
  • Around the culvert, we advise reinforcing the areas surrounding it to prevent bank erosion. As well, we realized that the flooding in the culvert may be due to obstructions caught inside, so we advise implementing a trap to catch obstructions and prevent plugging the culvert.
  • We realized that our solution would only slightly help with the cliff erosion since the main cause of erosion is the steep gradient of the culvert underneath Old Marine Drive. This is a problem we do not have the power to fix.This is the framework of our solution that is explained in extensive detail in our report, which we will hand in to UBC SEEDS hopefully by next week.

Data and Information Collection

Over the past few weeks, the main goals for our CBEL Project have been clarifying our project priorities, researching possible solutions, and gathering all the existing data to determine the data we still need to collect.

Since we are dealing with more than one person, we were faced with a few discrepancies between our clients. However, situations like these are, overall, helpful because this is an issue that engineers deal with on a daily basis. After communicating between Brenda Sawada, Douglas Justice, and Dr. James Atwater, we were able to successfully settle on the main priorities of this project:

  • Reduce erosion out of the culvert and down the cliff across the street from the Botanical Gardens
  • Deal with potential stream flooding at peak rain periods
  • Discover a way to make the stream more full during low rain periods
  • Formulate solutions for possible water storage
  • Innovate a way to slow down the water in the stream in general

Tasks and Expected Completion Dates

Our team is currently spending a great deal of time researching possible solutions and their effectiveness to achieve the goals above. The topics of research are:

  • Implementing ponds in the stream – conducted by Helen Li and Aaron Chen
  • Adding weirs in the pond – conducted by Li Xiang and Lindsay Piva
  • Roughening the stream bed – conducted by Marshall Downes
  • Diverting the stream into an external pond, and potentially pumping water from this pond for storage or irrigation – conducted by Chris Goody

For example, some research results of pond are listed below:

1.Advantages of using a pond

  • Beautiful landscape
  • Ability to store a large amount of water
  • Easy to construct

2.Construction process

  • Site Selection
  • Planning and Design
  • Construction
  • Maintenance
  • More details : http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1114/ANR-1114.pdf

3.Some useful equations

Theoretical condition: stationary flow conditions

  • nomal residence time= V (total volume)/Q (hydrological load)

The actual residence time, defined as mean residence time, tm, is always less than the nominal residence time, tn.


  • e= V(effe)/V(total) =mean residence time/nomal residence time
  • e=0.84[1-e^((-0.59(L/W)))]


The research phase of this project is expected to be completed by this Sunday. Lastly, we need to gain a deeper knowledge of open-channel flow. We have contacted Dr. Millar, an open-channel flow professor, for some guidance on this topic and are anxiously awaiting his reply. After the research phase and discussion with Dr. Millar, we will commence the on-site activities and the report-writing phase.

On-site Activities

As mentioned in the last post, we realized that some students and professors had already conducted extensive research on the stream, called Rock Creek, that we are interested in. One of the professors, Dr. James Atwater, debriefed us on the previous project and led us in the direction of a student named Patti Shen. Patti is in charge of the data logger located at the outlet of Rock Creek and West Creek. We met her in the Botanical Gardens so she could show us where the data logger was located and how to use it. The data logger gathers important information from the stream, such as flow rate, water depth, and precipitation data. Below is a picture of the weir that holds the data logger:

 The culvert next to the weir seen below is the outlet of Rock Creek:

One of the big problems we encountered with this data logger is that an additional stream, West Creek, located near the entrance of the Botanical Gardens, has an impact on the flow rate. However, Patti informed us of an additional data logger located in West Creek. We can use the West Creek data to calculate the flow in Rock Creek by subtracting the flow in West Creek from the flow in the weir.
We have the data needed to calculate the flow rate (Q) in Rock Creek, but we still need to find the velocity. In order to calculate velocity (v), we need to measure and estimate the cross sectional area (A) of the water in the stream. Velocity can be related to flow rate and cross sectional area based on the following formula: v=Q/A . We will measure the area as a team next week.
In addition, we need to determine the elevation of the stream in order to determine its gradient. This will be done through surveying the stream on site, which we hope to conduct before next weekend.

List of Expected Completion Dates

  • Sunday, March 10th: Individual research (listed above) will be completed
  • Monday, March 11th: A team meeting will be held to delegate outlying project duties, and interim deadlines will be discussed. Report-writing will commence.
  • Sunday, March 17th: All on-site data collection and measurements will be completed by entire group
  • Monday, March 25th: Report and Poster will be completed by entire group

Indications of Success

We are currently finishing up the research stage of this project, which is planned to be completed by Sunday, March 10th. So far, we have met much success with the research conducted, and have determined that with whichever solution we choose, it will help reach our goals. As well, we have been having great success involving communication with our client. They make a deliberate effort to meet with us and are always available via email or phone call. If they cannot answer a question we have, they always send us in the direction of someone who can. Lastly, we have been able to successfully layout a plan and, once all outlying duties have been assigned and given a deadline, we can determine which solution, or combination of solutions, has the best balance between feasibility, expenses, labor  and effectiveness.

Project Scope and Possible Remediation Techniques

Project Scope and Overview

After the meeting with our clients on February 6th, 2013, our group has had a deeper understanding of the project scope, the geological condition of the Botanical garden and the specific tasks we have to complete this semester. As we have mentioned before, the purpose of this project is to slow down the main water stream in Botanical garden, which will save water for emergency use and reduce water erosion to the bank. Research on the stream, its erosion and water recapture, has been ongoing and many senior students have already come up with some practical solutions. Based on the research done before, we are expected to provide more possible plans for the problem. Our main tasks are to analyze the geological condition of Botanical garden, to collect data of the water flow rate in some certain areas along the stream, and to complete a research paper for our final plan. The clients also suggested us to do a presentation after we finish the report. The specific time may be arranged after final exams. 

The following pictures were taken in Botanical garden.









Based on the geological condition in the area, we will use three main strategies for the project. The first one is to decrease the total energy head of water when it flows from upstream to downstream. This reduction can be achieved by increasing friction head or decreasing elevation head of water flow. In addition, we can also increase the cross section area of the stream so that the water velocity will drop with a constant flow rate.

Description of Possible Remediation Techniques

There are various techniques to decrease the velocity of the water stream. The choices that we have developed involves decreasing the volumetric flow rate, expanding the cross sectional area, and decreasing the flow speed directly. To accomplish these tasks in the real world, we have developed a number of feasible solutions to approach this issue:

  1. Diverting the water stream by digging additional ditches that run parallel to the original ditch. This way, the volumetric flow rate that passes through each ditch is decreased to allow a slower flow speed. The ground water table at the location of the new ditches must be low enough to avoid a net gain in the total volumetric flow rate of the stream system.
  2. Re-layer the stream bed with materials of rough surfaces, and construct rock weirs every 10 to 20 meters along the stream. This will increase the friction factor in the fluvial system and cause the water to slow down. Because the volumetric flow rate is held constant, water level will rise as a result. This consequence, however, is mitigated by the fact that the earth surface surrounding the stream is already high in elevation relative to the stream surfacebelow. As a result, we can increase the cross sectional area of the stream without needing to physically dig the stream wider. 
  3. Expand the width of the ditch to directly manipulate the cross sectional area of the stream. The expansion should be dug symmetrically along the two edges of the stream. The depth of the expansions should be the same as that of the original ditch. With the cross sectional area expanded, the stream velocity should be expected to decrease.

Due to scheduling conflicts and time restraints, our group has yet to finalize a specific timeline for investigation of these ideas. However, we plan to conduct independent research over reading break, as well as consult Dr. Atwater when he is available, and look into principles governing the stream flow.

Each of these ideas has unique advantages as well as limitations. For example, although the addition of rock weirs to the streams will reduce the total flow energy of the stream while having minimal immediately negative effect on the area surrounding the stream, rock weirs are ultimately temporary structures as the water may erode around the rock weirs. Before our team selects one or two preliminary concepts to further investigate, we must determine which of these ideas will be the most effective in reducing the flow energy in the stream.

The efficiency of the concept will be rated based on how much energy can be removed from the stream at one single location and the number of locations available for the implementations of the design. The sustainability of the project is important as they will be needed as long as the streams exist, and maintenance of the designs should be taken into account. Although our project is small in scale, effects of our project on the local environment should still be considered. We have yet to narrow our project focus onto one single preliminary concept, but we will do so shortly, as we gather more information about possible impacts of each concept and the expected amount of energy each idea can remove from the stream.

We feel confident that a fix for this issue of stream erosion will be found with very little trouble. However the issue of erosion around the exit culvert is more serious and not as straightforward. Storm water overflows the bounds of the stream and the culvert is incapable of handling the necessary flow, causing massive erosion around the mouth of the culvert, undermining the embankment containing the culvert. It is not sufficient for us to only slow the water in the stream as the flow rate will remain the same. Inspection of the surrounding soils and planning for some type of overflow pool or stream will be our main focus throughout this project and the various data that has been collected concerning the stream will be looked at in the near future. After we have analyzed all of the relevant data we will begin to look for solutions to the overflow problem and possibly into water storage.

Now that we are well informed about the situation our next step will be to fix a time frame for our research and submit this as early as possible. Data such as stream flow-rates, soil analysis and any necessary surveying will be collected as soon as possible to enable us to start coming up with practical, efficient solution ideas.

Preparation for Upcoming Events

After a brief introduction on our client in our last blog post, we thought we’d take a deeper look into UBC SEEds and its background, purpose, values, and goals. UBC SEEDS (Social Ecological Economic Dvelopment Studies) Program began in 2000 as a result of UBC’s Greening the Campus initiative that ran from 1994 to 1998. Few Universities in North America have a similar program, as UBC SEEDS is Western Canada’s first operational program to integrate student participation with faculty and staff experience on sustainability.

This program provides students with sustainability experience as they work with faculty and staff to create projects that address current, real-life sustainability issues. In addition, UBC SEEDS possesses a student library that holds over 800 student reports regarding sustainability. Students can gain course credit, and faculty and staff get the opportunity to apply actual sustainability issues in a classroom setting and actively contribute to UBC’s movement towards sustainability.

According to UBC SEEDS official website, the projects developed by members of the program have specific criteria and goals as follows:

  1. Involve collaboration between UBC staff, faculty, and students
  2. Involve a real-life, operational sustainability issue at UBC
  3. Contribute to academic credit for students

Additionally, the website states: “The SEEDS Program gives UBC staff members, faculty members and students an opportunity to help advance the University’s commitment to sustainability on campus through meaningful collaborations”.

Source: http://www.sustain.ubc.ca/courses-teaching/seeds (Feb. 1st, 2013)

       Lindsay has been keeping in touch with our main contact, Brenda Sawada, and has set up a defined meeting date. Due to conflicts in schedule with our team and client, our first meeting will not take place until Wednesday, Feb. 6th. Until then, Brenda has recommended we take a look at a previous SEEDS project with similar goals, outlined below.

       Our meeting next week will include a tour of the site, detatiled description of the project, and a meet and greet with Brenda as well as the Garden Director, Patrick Lewis, and the Associate Director and Curator of Collections, Douglas Justice. According to Brenda, our meeting should take about an hour, and we plan to take extensive notes and bring a camera along for further documentation. We look forward to the meeting, and plan to gather ahead of time to determine any questions we may have before extensive work on this project officially commences.

Since our group is scheduled to meet with our client next week, the information we have on the project is still not compete. However, after some research, we found that there has already been some similar work done at the site. A previous group of UBC Civil Engineering Students have determined that it was feasible to install two rock weirs in West Creek and Rock Creek. In a second phase of that project, the two weirs were installed and data about the water levels was recorded. I would imagine that we are continuing their work or looking to impalement more weirs at other creeks. This previous project could provide valuable information pertaining to our own project.

The flowing graph shows the results of a previous project report.

Source:http://sustain.ubc.ca/sites/sustain.ubc.ca/files/seedslibrary/UBC%20Botanical%20Garden%20Stormwater%20Management%20Project_UP.pdf (Feb. 1st, 2013)


CBEL Project: UBC Botanical Gardens

As a part of CIVL 202, our team of Lindsay, Chris, Marshall, Helen, Li, and Aaron, is eager to embark on the UBC SEEDS: Botanical Gardens CBEL Project. UBC’s Social Ecological Economic Development Studies (SEEDS) Program works to integrate students, who are interested in sustainability, with sustainability challenges on campus and is the first program in Canada to do so. Students work with faculty and staff on both the development and the implementation of sustainability projects that contribute to the “Campus as a Living Lab” concept. In the past, the SEEDS Program has worked with 4500 participants on various projects, such as proposals for the green design of the new Student Union Building and a worm composting pilot project.


The particular CBEL project is exciting as it is located right here on campus in UBC’s very own beautiful botanical gardens. UBC SEEDS is looking for a way to slowdown storm water runoff, lower the use of valuable drinking water for irrigation, and possibly store runoff for emergency situations. Our team must survey a stream, determining the ideal spots for rock weir installation to efficiently slow down storm water, as well as perform water volume and elevation calculations. The legacy of this project will not end in April, as the data collected will be utilized in future SEEDS projects that have similar goals. As aspiring civil engineers, this team is excited to learn more about the scope of the project upon meeting the client.

Successful completion of this project will impact a wide community. Our goal is to capture nutrient rich runoff water to conserve drinking water and acknowledge the world’s environmental responsibility. This project will benefit the University of British Columbia by cutting water usage costs and enable a more efficient retention of nutrients to slow soil degradation. UBC Botanical Gardens are appreciated by students, faculty, staff and visitors.  Our efforts will enable UBC to provide a more sustainable and resource conscious attraction though the conservation of a valuable natural resource, thus benefitting the community at large from “sea to shining sea”.

Striving towards the success of this project are six very motivated individuals, waiting to make their contribution to the sustainable development of the UBC Campus. The following are the self-introductions from our team members:

My name is Aaron Chen, originally from Beijing, China, I immigrated to Calgary when I was 10 years old. My hobbies include guitar, soccer, and various E-sports video games. As a Second-year Civil Engineer, my biggest interest in the profession is fluid mechanics. Currently, I am enrolled in the UBC Engineering co-op program.

This should be an interesting project. I am Chris Goody, and my interest in Civil Engineering lies with structural engineering. I have some experience in construction and client relations   and I will be able to help in those areas for this project. I am sure we are all very talented in many ways and can collaborate to do an excellent job.

Hello everyone, my name is Helen Li. I am an international student from Zhengzhou, China and currently enrolled in second year Civil Engineering at UBC. My favorite engineering discipline is structure engineering, and I am also interested in fluid mechanics and pipeline system. My hobbies include piano, badminton and hiking. I am very excited to participate in the UBC SEEDS: Botanical Gardens Project, and I look forward to visiting the garden and meeting our client.

Greetings! My name is Liming Xiang. I am a prospective structural engineer who also takes a interest in sustainable design. I am very involved with the UBC Steel Bridge Team and I volunteer as secretary for the Engineering Undergraduate society here at UBC. Beyond engineering, I greatly enjoy good music and good food.
I look forward to working with my CBEL team and the UBC SEEDS Program on the Botanical Gardens Project. I’m excited to learn as well as having some fun in the process.

Hello everyone, my name is Lindsay Piva. I’m originally from Kamloops, BC where I completed first year at Thompson Rivers University enrolled in the engineering transfer program, and have since transferred to UBC for second year. A few of my life-long passions are competitive dance, piano, and yoga. I hope to pursue the renewable energy aspect of Civil Engineering, which is the reason the UBC SEEDS: Botanical Garden Project most appealed to me. Can’t wait to get the ball rolling!

Hi there, my name is Marshall Downes. I’m from White Rock, BC and am currently enrolled in second year Civil Engineering at UBC. Some of my interests are skiing, baseball and videogames. I am most interested in the structural aspect of Civil Engineering, and I am interested in green design. I also have always enjoyed the tranquility of a garden and look forward to working in UBC’s Botanical Garden.
I’m excited to see what we can accomplish together!