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

Just Posted

Sun on its way after Greater Victoria sees wettest July in six years

Environment Canada meteorologists say the drizzle is likely to end soon

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

Saanich samples the best of local food at Pepper’s Foods showcase.

Tenth annual showcase celebrates local food producers and vendors

After Victoria dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

VIDEO: 1,400 classic cars roll into Victoria for Deuce Days

The four-day festival highlights classic hot rods, with a special emphasis on cars built in 1932

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

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

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Most Read