Bowker Creek was once a wild meandering stream flowing from the headwaters to the ocean through forest and glade. Regrettably the creek has been buried in culverts for much of its length as our city developed. However, an effort to restore the Creek is planned though the efforts of the Bowker Creek Initiative (BCI). From the Bowker Creek Initiative website:
“The Bowker Creek Urban Watershed Renewal Initiative is a unique multi-jurisdictional effort to improve the health of a highly urbanized watershed. The Initiative was established because of concerns about flooding, pollution, and the degraded condition of Bowker creek.”
“The Bowker Creek watershed is in the Capital Region and the creek extends from the University of Victoria through the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria, and discharges to the sea through the District of Oak Bay.”
The work of the BCI and affiliated organizations has resulted in the “Bowker Creek 100 year Blueprint”, a plan for the restoration of the watercourse for each of the sections or “Reaches” of the creek. This is a link to the BCI website:
Cedar Hill Park contains the watersheds for both Colquitz and Bowker Creek. A tributary of Bowker Creek flows from the west side of the Park boundary (Camrose Crescent) to the south end of the Park at Finlayson Road. Much of the creek flows through a conduit through the golf course. The 100 Year Blueprint lays out broad restoration plans for the creek “Reach 17” from the conduit exit to where it flows under Finlayson. This stretch of the creek is unique as it’s one of the few sections that is on public land and accessible to the public.
The Friends of Cedar Hill Park join the Municipality of Saanich in support the restoration of Bowker Creek. We are on the Steering Committee of the BCI and hope to influence the Committee to start planning for the restoration of Reach 17 as a priority. We have started work to clean up the creek through a number of large volunteer events in 2014 and 2015. We will continue our efforts to encourage the BCI and Saanich to create a restoration plan for the creek in accordance with the 100 Year Blueprint. This is a critical part of an overall plan for the future of Cedar Hill Park.