About

Bowker Creek, also known as Thaywun, and its watershed are on the ancestral lands of the lək̓ʷəŋən people, known today as the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations. We respect, honour, and are inspired by their vital relationship with these lands and waters and how they have stewarded them through countless generations, continuing to the present and into the future.

We are working towards realizing a vision where the varied human uses and natural areas in the Bowker watershed are managed to minimize runoff and pollution, making Bowker Creek a healthy stream that supports habitat for native vegetation and wildlife, and provides a community greenway to connect neighbourhoods.

Specifically, our objectives are to:

  • Enhance, restore, and protect Bowker Creek and green-space in the watershed,
  • Raise community awareness of the watershed,
  • Focus community-based action on the environment and,
  • Develop a continuous protected riparian corridor along Bowker Creek

Where is Bowker Creek?

The headwaters of the Bowker Creek watershed are located at the University of Victoria and a tributary in Cedar Hill Park golf course. Bowker Creek meanders through the municipalities of Saanich, Victoria, and Oak Bay. The creek flows roughly parallel to Shelbourne street, around Hillside Mall towards the Royal Jubilee Hospital, past Oak Bay High School and empties into Oak Bay near the Glenlyon-Norfolk school.

About half of Bowker Creek is in underground culverts. Fortunately, sections of Bowker Creek near Browning park, Richmond School, Royal Jubilee Hospital and in Oak Bay are open and accessible to pedestrians.

Watershed Features

Bowker Creek provides community, cultural and recreational opportunities along its length especially at:

  • University of Victoria
  • Browning-Gyro Park in Saanich
  • Cedar Hill Park and Golf Course
  • Richmond School
  • The Spirit Garden
  • BC Hydro field on Kings Road
  • Royal Jubilee Hospital
  • Bowker Creek Park in Oak Bay
  • Headwaters of Bowker Creek- University of Victoria

Did you know?

  • Bowker Creek is named for John Sylvester Bowker, an American who settled in the area during the 1860s.
  • Prior to urbanization, Bowker Creek once supported populations of coho salmon and cutthroat trout.
  • A First Nations shell midden (layers of shells, ashes and other camp debris) adjacent to Bowker Creek is at least 2500 years old.
  • Before agricultural and urban development, the watershed supported extensive Garry Oak meadows and woodlands. This unique ecosystem is now one of the most endangered in Canada;
  • At 117 meters, the peak of Mt. Tolmie is the highest point in the Bower Creek watershed;
  • An estimated 45 percent of the Bowker Creek watershed is composed of impervious surfaces such as roads, parking areas and roofs

How can you help?

We can all contribute to improving the Bowker Creek watershed for the enjoyment of present and future generations. Our individual actions all add up! You can do your part:

Around the house:

  • Reduce your use of household hazardous products (e.g. solvents, harsh cleaners). Do not dispose of them in storm drains. Take them to recycling or collection centres.
  • Where appropriate, redirect roof drains or downspouts over lawns instead of directly into storm drains.
  • If you have oil heating, check fuel storage tanks for leaks and replace or repair where necessary.
  • Pave as little of your property as possible. Use gravel or paving stones instead of concrete or asphalt, to help slow stormwater runoff

Around the garage:

  • Check and repair automobile fuel and fluid systems. Fix any leaks immediately.
  • Recycle used oil, antifreeze and paints by taking them to collection facilities. Do not dump into storm drains.
  • Wash your car over gravel or lawn so that the soapy water and debris soaks into the ground instead of flowing directly into storm drains and into the creek. Use mild phosphate-free soap

Around your neighbourhood:

  • Support local community and stream stewardship groups and restoration efforts.
  • Encourage land protection and acquisition of community greenspace, especially in those areas adjacent to the creek.
  • Involve youth and support stream stewardship programs in local schools.

In the Capital Region

Encourage local and regional governments to implement the Bowker Creek Blueprint

Have you been to a community meeting, spoken at a public forum or written a letter lately? Help guide your municipal representatives in local land use decisions by taking a few minutes to let them know. If you have any questions or comments on some of the projects that are happening please contact us.