Restoration of a section of Bowker Creek that flows along the Oak Bay High School property will begin this month.
Crews will start by clearing out existing bushes and trees that are mostly invasive and do not contribute to a healthy creek environment. They will be replaced in the fall once work inside the creek is complete.
The project is one of 10 short-term initiatives of the Bowker Creek Initiative, supported by the Capital Regional District to guide the overall restoration of the Bowker Creek Watershed.
The District of Oak Bay has secured $738,000 from the Federal Gas Tax fund for this restoration, which will significantly improve overall creek health by improving water quality, habitat and flow conveyance. Restoration will also decrease downstream flooding and improve climate adaptability.
“This project will significantly transform the section of Bowker Creek that flows along the Oak Bay High School property,” said Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen, CRD board chair.
“We are looking forward to seeing not only the restored creek, but also a new community greenspace and outdoor classroom that will let everyone learn more about this great natural amenity.”
Project features include a winding creek that mimics a more natural water course, native plantings, an accessible pathway, a viewing area and an outdoor classroom. An environmental plan is being followed to ensure construction does not negatively affect the creek downstream.
In September, crews will be planting the creek along with participating Oak Bay High School students and community members.
The Bowker Creek Urban Watershed Renewal Initiative is a collaboration between local governments, community groups, institutions and private citizens to improve the health of Bowker Creek and its watershed.