Editorial: Project suggests a bright future for Bowker Creek

Multiple co-operating groups work together to build project with wide-reaching results

This week’s celebration of the revitalization Bowker Creek highlights how community groups working together can build something with wide-reaching results.

Far more than the beautification of an urban stream that had suffered more than a few indignities in decades previous, more than the environmental reclamation of this local waterway vital to both residents and wildlife, the project also engaged the local Oak Bay High.

Students worked most recently on native plantings in the area but they’re also engaged in water quality studies that last summer welcomed students from the Netherlands; this June, Oak Bay students will be making the return trip.

Following extensive student and community engagement to develop a detailed design for the site, the reconstruction of about 120 metres of Bowker Creek behind the school included channel excavation and enhancements, bank stabilization, planting and irrigation, in addition to the construction of community amenities including an outdoor classroom.

This impact for students – and future generations – is significant.

“This is where for the next several generations you’re going to find students working as they think about fresh water sustainability, they think about urban waterways, they think about recapturing the fisheries and they think about the importance of the work that we have to do with our environment,” principal Dave Thomson said during the event.

The section was just one component of a far-reaching plan to revitalize the creek, which through projects like this, plays a starring role in Oak Bay’s urban landscape. One of 10 short-term actions in the 100-year Bowker Creek vision, more will come in the efforts to complete the waterway’s reclamation.

With the extensive co-operation shown here, the future looks bright for Bowker Creek.