Students from Oak Bay High’s Grade 9 science discovery class with their trivia wheel with facts about Bowker Creek. The class is the first to take over longterm restoration and maintenance of the portion of the creek behind the new school. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Oak Bay High students take over Bowker restoration

Students will lead restoration, maintenance for portion of Bowker Creek

The health of the Bowker Creek day-lighting initiative took another step this week as members of the Grade 9 Discovery class at Oak Bay High held an informational session on the importance of diverting toxins from the local watershed.

On Wednesday science teacher Derek Shrubsole and the Discovery class met with Oak Bay Couns. Andrew Appleton and Esther Paterson at the Bowker Creek outdoor classroom where students tested members of the CRD on their Bowker Creek trivia wheel (winners got an Oak Bay High temporary tattoo).

Did you know, there’s leeches in Bowker? Worry not, they’re rather small and not the kind to attach their bloodsucking ways on humans, says the wheel.

READ MORE: Weeds return to Bowker Creek

READ ALSO: Flash floods fill Bowker Crek during rainstorms

“As of today the stewardship of the creek is officially passed on to the school district and the school,” Shrubsole said. “Some of the science teachers are now talking about what else we can do to nurture the creek in the future.”

Now that the riparian area beside the creek – and behind Oak Bay High – has had the blackberries and other overgrown invasives removed, work is needed to give native plants a chance to grow. Though the creek is bordered on one side by the cement retaining wall holding up the Jack Wallace Memorial Track, the terraced slope on the high school side is now home to a rich variety of native plants, Shrubsole said.

The day-lighting of Bowker Creek is, of course, a priority of Oak Bay and Saanich, part of a 100-year commitment as guided by the Bowker Creek Initiative.

“The whole idea now is to continue pulling the invasives [which are reappearing] to allow the native plants a chance to compete,” Shrubsole said.

Students also plan to use what they call “moss paint” to create a mural on the cement wall that actually fosters the growth of the native moss.

“Moss is seed in the mixture with corn starch and the moss will actually grow into the shape,” said student Olivia Friesen. “Also, it’s otherwise harmless.”

With heavy rains filling storm drains and causing flash floods Bowker Creek is still a long way from – if ever – recovering but is on track with a new report from the Bowker Creek Initiative soon to identify priority sections to be day-lighted and restored, next.

travis.paterson@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Oak Bay High School

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CRD explores option to use Oak Bay Lodge for people who are homeless

Motion asks staff to work with BC Housing, Island Health on possibilities

Public tips lead to arrest in alleged random assault on Victoria bus

June 19 incident was recorded by onboard camera

Woman who talked to unconscious husband, a Victoria police officer, for 30 years focus of study

Ian Jordan suffered a head injury when he and another officer were on their way to a call in Victoria in September 1987

B.C. residents can go to the Royal BC Museum for half price all summer

Museum reopening in phases, COVID-19 measures in place

Sidney asking tourists to respect health guidelines

Messaging says Sidney is ‘excited to welcome smart, safe, and respectful visits’

VIDEO: Victoria’s Raging Grannies call for end to public funding of for-profit senior homes

Organizer says COVID-19 has made senior home issues more apparent

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

B.C. ports part of data integration project to protect marine ecosystems

The $1.2 M federally funded program will draw crucial baseline data from Canada’s three coastlines

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Most Read