Bowker Creek – no Bubbles

I understand you are all very much concerned with the future of Bowker Creek in Oak Bay and beyond and have been active in promoting enhancement of the Creek.

You will be interested to learn that Oak Bay Council adopted at its July 23, 2012 meeting a resolution to endorse the Bowker Creek Blueprint.
The resolution, proposed by Councillor Tara Ney, was approved with only one dissenting vote:

“That Council endorse the “Bowker Creek Blueprint – A 100 Year Action Plan to Restore the Bowker Creek Watershed.”

This is a very positive step and means all three municipalitieshave now formally supported the Blueprint for the Creek’s future.

You will also be interested in this story from the Oak Bay News from late June. It outlines how the Oak Bay Parks & Recreation Commission, an advisory body appointed by Oak Bay Council, has asked staff to report on the potential and costs of moving the 4-court tennis bubble, now covering the Creek at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre, to another site on the Recreation Centre property.

This possibility arises because the material covering the 4-court tennis bubble is nearing the end of its 20-25 year expected life and is due for replacement next year, along with HVAC equipment, at a cost of some $420,000. Staff and Commission members are considering options of re-covering the tennis bubble where it is – over the Creek – or relocating it. There is another 3-court tennis bubble, recently re-covered, immediately south of the 4-court bubble in question.

The next Commission meeting is September 12. I’m sure the Commission and Oak Bay Council would be interested to hear the views of community members on this question.

As you know, Oak Bay and the BCI have recently secured funding to rehabilitate the Creek portion adjacent to Oak Bay High School, in conjunction with building the new high school – just downstream of the Creek section now running through a culvert under the tennis bubble. This would extend the existing Oak Bay Bowker Creek greenway and trails from Monterey Avenue west to the current location of the tennis bubble. That leaves only the short section of the Creek west from there to Bee Street to be made visible and accessible for walkers and cyclists to enjoy, in accord with the long-term vision for the Creek.

Attached is an illustration from the Bowker Creek Blueprint of what this whole Creek section could look like.