We look for opportunities for riparian habitat restoration, invasive plant removal, garbage cleanup, planting native plants for Bowker Creek (also known as Thaywun).

Friends of Bowker Creek Members (including FoBC Streamkeepers – Chum Salmon Recovery project volunteers)

We are very pleased to announce some new opportunities for FoBC Members, FoBC Streamkeepers, FoBC Watershed Stewards action groups, and other Friends of Bowker Creek work. Take a look at the following options and tell us which ones you would like to join in or know more about. 

To participate in FoBCS volunteer work projects, you must be a member of Friends of Bowker Creek Society, which means that you are covered by our volunteer insurance policy. Please join the Friends of Bowker Creek Society or update your annual membership here.

Habitat Restoration Work Sessions 2024

Bowker Creek Restoration at the Oak Bay High School pathway site:

Bowker Creek restoration volunteers at Oak Bay High School pathway site
Bowker Creek restoration volunteers at Oak Bay High School pathway site

Come and meet up with old friends and make new ones; enjoy a few hours of socializing and pulling invasive vegetation, behind the Oak Bay High School, along the Bowker Creek Pathway.

Dates of 2024 Sessions:

Feb 25
March 10 and 31
April 14 and 28
May 12 (Mother’s Day) and 26
June 16 (Father’s Day) and 30
July 14 and 28
August 11 (Bowker Creek Artists Bush Up Show and Sale) and 25
September 15 and 29
October 13 and 27
November 24
December: no sessions

Where: Behind the Oak Bay High School along the Bowker Creek Pathway
When: 10 am to noon
What to Bring: Your enthusiasm and dress for the weather as session happen rain or shine
We Provide: Gloves and tools, though if prefer to use your own, by all means bring along

For information about the upcoming volunteer sessions at the Oak Bay High School pathway site, contact: Jacquie.Bird@outlook.com

We look forward to having previous volunteers back and meeting new ones!

1000 RAIN GARDENS project “Flying Squad”

Friends of Bowker Creek is working toward 1000 rain gardens in the creek’s catchment area. Rain gardens help to restore Bowker Creek’s health by keeping stormwater out of the storm sewer system and letting it filter through the ground. See the website pages at: https://bowkercreek.org/1000-rain-gardens/

The “flying squad” is a team that is learning to advise property owners about rain gardens and help with design, installation and maintenance. We will also offer education about rain gardens and Green Stormwater Management in classrooms and at community events, as well as gathering data to build a rain gardens map on the Friends of Bowker Creek website. We are all learning together because these are new capacities that Friends of Bowker Creek is just beginning to develop. Contact Rachael to learn more.

Bowker Creek Restoration at Browning Park in Saanich

Pulling Together at Browning Park, July 9th 2022
Pulling Together at Browning Park

Glenn Bartley and Ronna Woodstra are hosting regular Tuesday evening ‘Power Hours’ in 2024. Dedicated volunteers have made fantastic progress removing invasive plants, adding native plants and leaf mulch at the Browning Park site, with support from the Saanich Pulling Together Program. It is worth a visit to see the progress made and enjoy this open reach of Bowker Creek at Browning Park.

Hi Neighbours!

Thanks to everyone who came out on Sunday afternoon. The park is looking good!

We’ll be switching over to weekly Power Hours now.  So starting next week we’ll meet each Tuesday at 6 PM for an hour.
We hope you can join us for a POWER HOUR of Pulling Together –  Tuesday May 7 from 6:00-7:00 PM
We’ll meet in the south end of the park.

We hope you can join us!!!
Keep an eye out for Glenn with the green wheelbarrow near the bridge.

See you there!
Glenn and Ronna

For information on upcoming creek restoration work at Browning Park, please contact: rgbartley@gmail.com

Bowker Creek riparian restoration site at Monteith Street in Oak Bay.

Bowker Creek Restoration in Oak Bay – Wetlands and Monteith Sites

Brandon hosts riparian habitat restoration sessions approximately 1-2 times per month as part of the Chum Salmon Recovery Project. Upcoming sessions will be posted here. Work is done throughout the lower reaches of Bowker Creek with an emphasis on the wetlands along Oak Bay’s Bowker Creek Walkway. The schedule is irregular but Brandon sends notices of work sessions at least 4-5 days in advance to his email list of volunteers. Please contact Brandon at: brandonw16@live.ca to be added to the email list and notify him if you would like to join for an upcoming session. He will send a notice to volunteers in the event of a cancellation.

Brandon and Jane planting native plants at Bowker Creek duck pond in Oak Bay.
Brandon and Jane planting native plants at the Bowker Creek wetlands in Oak Bay (at the end of Armstrong Street).

Water Quality Sampling in Bowker Creek

We sample Bowker Creek’s water quality twice a month, and welcome reports of any problems that people notice at other times.

The routine sampling takes a group of 3 people 1-2 hours to cover three sites in the Oak Bay section of the Creek.  Additional volunteers are always welcome, and we will train you to sample and record the data, and optionally to lead groups once you have some experience.  Contact Eldan [eg@eldang.xyz] with any questions or to get on the volunteers list, and see https://app.waterrangers.ca/groups/friends-of-bowker-creek-salmon-recovery for locations and the specific things we measure.

If you ever notice a water quality problem, please notify us [friendsofbowkercreek+waterquality@gmail.com], with as precise a location and time as you can.  Photos are also always helpful, as is reporting the issue via Water Rangers [https://app.waterrangers.ca/groups/friends-of-bowker-creek-salmon-recovery].  Contact Eldan [eg@eldang.xyz] if you have any questions about Water Rangers or would be interested in a training session about how to report issues there.

Friends of Cedar Hill Park restoration volunteers in the Bowker Creek watershed.
Friends of Cedar Hill Park restoration volunteers in the Bowker Creek watershed.

Cedar Hill Park Volunteer Opportunity

Every Monday morning from 9:00 am until 12 noon

Cedar Hill Park is in the Bowker Creek watershed and is a headwater source for Bowker Creek. The Friends of Cedar Hill Park have been active in maintaining the natural areas of the Park since 2006. Their work is done in the natural areas of the Park outside golf course boundaries under the Saanich Pulling Together Volunteer Program.
Join weekly invasive species removal at preplanned areas of the park, under the direction of Lead Steward, Jim Moores every Monday morning from 9:00 am until 12 noon.
This is the link that shows where you can find the work site on Monday mornings from 9 to noon. Please go to the meeting point, or let them know if you would like to join the FoCHPS through their email address: FriendsofCedarHillPark@gmail.com.

Forage fish survey volunteers

Survey for Forage Fish in the Bowker Creek Estuary

We welcome Sabine Rankin as leader of the forage fish survey crew. Sabine invites new volunteers for sampling sessions on beaches near the mouth of the creek. Come join in valuable Salish Sea research by contacting Sabine at: sabinerankin@gmail.com

The BEACH program https://peninsulastreams.ca/beach-program/  with Peninsula Streams and Shorelines Society studies Salish Sea populations of small fish that provide important food sources for salmon. Surf Smelt and Pacific Sand Lance spawn on beaches above the low tide line. Our crew works at low tide collecting samples from beach sand that might contain eggs. Sabine will train new members. Participate in citizen science and experience the beach in a whole new way!