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Community considers parking revamp at Oak Bay Recreation Centre

Draft plan looks to green up heavily paved segment of Bowker Creek
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Crews repair a spring bank collapse at Bowker Creek adjacent to the Oak Bay Recreation Centre parking lot. (Black Press Media file photo)

Oak Bay’s own Bald Eagles band will perform as the community peruses a potential vision for the area of Bowker Creek at Bee Street.

In July, volunteers utilized Oak Bay’s new Coolkit process to consult with community members about climate change impacts in the area.

Organizers found the key observations included that parking, with impermeable surfaces, covers a significant portion of the site. Pavement prevents rainwater from soaking into the soil, contributing to creek flooding and erosion each fall and winter and contributes significant heat in summer.

They also note that pedestrian accessibility alongside the creek and through the upper parking lot is disconnected upstream and downstream from public pathways to the Oak Bay village and community centre.

RELATED: Coolkit program inspires Oak Bay ‘hood to host ice cream social

With a draft plan generated from that input, the same group, including Friends of Bowker Creek and the Community Association of Oak Bay members, hosts another consultation Sept. 25 from 2 to 4 p.m. at 1975 Bee St. The potential plan includes the restoration of Bowker Creek by widening the stream corridor, renewing the streambank ecosystem, and expanding biodiversity; redesign of the parking lot to expand the urban forest to provide natural habitat and shade for summer cooling as well as promoting rainwater infiltration and establishing a greenway for walkers and cyclists. Aside from attending the latest ice cream social, residents can offer input by emailing oakbayconnector@gmail.com or friendsofbowkercreek@gmail.com.


 

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