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Walk, work and party to celebrate rivers day in Oak Bay, Saanich

Bowker Creek the centre of attention for Sept. 26 events
Ducklings swim in Bowker Creek in Oak Bay. (Courtesy of Friends of Bowker Creek)

Celebrate World Rivers Day three ways along Bowker Creek, the region’s winding waterway that stretches across three municipalities.

A walk, work party and concert coordinated by the Friends of Bowker Creek, celebrates rivers in general and the 10th anniversary of the Bowker Creek Blueprint.

Friends director Gerald Harris and resident Ron Carter lead a walk starting creekside near Oak Bay Recreation Centre on Sept. 26 at 10:30 a.m. Along the way, the pair will highlight the challenges and successes of work done on the waterway.

Carter, an arborist, will invite walkers into the progression of vegetation in the area. The walk will wind up at Monteith Street. The 90-minute amble will cover watershed ecosystems, impacts of development and restoration, the Bowker Creek Blueprint for 100 Years and the recent daylighting feasibility report.

READ ALSO: Lone turtle spotted in Bowker Creek by Oak Bay residents

The walkers will pass a group doing habitat restoration work on the Oak Bay High adjacent portion of the creek.

“Not everybody wants to go for a walk, some people would prefer to just get in to do some restoration,” Harris said. He invites those individuals to show up at 10 a.m., with work gloves if possible.

The afternoon wraps with a creekside concert in what is colloquially known as Kings Park.

The outdoor concert features live music by From the Ghost and Sara Rose as well as poetry by Michelle Poirier Brown. The music is pedal-powered by the audience through Tune Your Ride.

The Friends of Bowker Creek supports the initiative to fund the Kings Park greenspace bought by Saanich in 2019. Saanich paid $5.5 million for the surplus BC Hydro land between Kings Road and Haultain Street and financed the purchase by borrowing $4 million and tapping into reserve funds for $1.5 million. Saanich maintains it will sell portions of the lot if it cannot raise $2.75 million.

A group of community members are fundraising that balance through the Saanich Legacy Foundation, using grants, personal donations and requests for contributions from local, provincial and federal government agencies. Visit to learn more about the initiative.

READ ALSO: Volunteers move masses of gravel, rock into Oak Bay creek

Visit for more information on the World Rivers Day events.

Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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