Bowker Creek Blueprint
Written with contributions from Natalie Bandringa, Bowker Creek Initiative Coordinator
The Bowker Creek Initiative along with the respective municipalities that the Bowker Creek runs through, have been working for several years on developing The Bowker Creek Blueprint, A 100-year Action Plan to restore the Bowker Creek watershed.
You can have a look at the the final version of the 100-year Action Plan here.
The Bowker Creek Blueprint is an opportunistic plan that suggests ways the creek can be better managed to reduce flooding and create a community amenity of a natural creek, greenways for walking/biking, etc.
Bowker Creek Initiative will be making a short presentation about the Blueprint and seeking endorsement from the Municipality Oak Bay Council on February 28th.
Under the Blueprint the current major projects that BCI is focusing on in Oak Bay are:
Monteith St: Creation of a native plant demonstration garden adjacent to the Monteith Community Gardens. We have planted over $2000 worth of native plants in Spring and Fall 2010, and are currently finishing up sheet mulching for natural control of weeds on the site. More planting will take place this Spring and Fall. There have been a lot of volunteer efforts on this project. Oak Bay Parks Department are also currently working on creating additional community garden plots on the site. In the past at this site the BCI has also worked on bank stabilization with a technique using natural materials called willow wattle fencing.
Oak Bay High site & Bowker Creek: BCI have been working with CEI (architecture firm for the project), the Oak Bay Municipality, High School, the rest of the design team and the community to look at taking the creek out of the concrete channel and creating a more natural creek in this reach of the creek. BCI have hired KWL (consulting engineers) to propose a draft restoration plan and hoping to bring that to the design team soon. The design focuses on stormwater management, creek naturalization and the creation of creekside educational platforms for students. BCI is also looking for funding for the creek restoration work.
Bowker Creek film project: Several years ago BCI started a project to document elder members of the community speaking about their recollections of the Bowker Creek when it was in a more natural state. We plan to create several short (max 5 min.) document like films talking about the Bowker Creek from pre-contact into the future. We see the films being an educational tool for the local community and students.