Volunteer

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. 

Insurance coverage requires a paid membership. Please join the Friends of Bowker Creek Society or update your annual membership here to participate in FoBCS volunteer work projects.


Habitat Restoration Work Sessions 2023

MUST be a member of Friends of Bowker Creek Society which means that you are covered by our volunteer insurance policy. You can also renew your membership here.

Looking forward to seeing old friends and to make new acquaintances!



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 Gerald to learn more at: geralddh@pacificcoast.net .


Bowker Creek Restoration at Browning Park in Saanich

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

We will meet at the bridge that is up in the park or along the trail.  Keep an eye out for my green wheelbarrow that I’ll have on site.

Bring a pair of gardening gloves and maybe a few tools (small shovel, shears, etc) if you have them. We’ll also have some extra tools available.

Don’t feel like you have to stay for the entire time, and you can certainly show up at any time if you can’t make it at the beginning.

 Every bit helps and as they say “many hands make light work”. 

Greetings Everyone!
I hope this message finds you all well and that you are looking forward to Spring!
I just wanted to send a quick status update about the ongoing efforts to restore the Browning Park ecosystem. 

After some fantastic work last season removing invasive species together we were able to get in there in December and planted about 30 native shrubs in the area we cleared. In December, Ronna and I tried to hack back the Blackberries in the south end of the park so that we’ll have an easier time there this Spring. Through the winter we’ve also had some great talks with Saanich Parks about continuing to move our restoration efforts forward.
With the weather starting to show signs of Spring we’re looking forward to starting back up volunteer work parties in early April.  I’ll send out an email in a few weeks with more details about our first event of the season. We hope you will consider joining us!
The park is looking so much better already. So let’s keep it going!!
All the best Team!
Glenn (and Ronna)

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


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

Bowker Creek Restoration at the 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.

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

2023 dates as follows:

All sessions start at 10am and go to noon

Feb 26th

March 26th

April 16th and 30th

May 14th  (Mothers Day) and 28th

June 11th  and 25th

July 16th and 30th

August 13th (Bowker Creek Artists Brush Up) and 27th

September 10th and 24th

October 15th and 29th

November 26th

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

Tool and gloves provided – although you are welcome to bring your own.


Brandon and Jane planting native plants at Bowker Creek duck pond in Oak Bay.
Brandon and Jane planting native plants at Bowker Creek duck pond in Oak Bay.

Bowker Creek Restoration in Oak Bay – Duck Pond and Monteith Sites

Brandon hosts riparian habitat restoration sessions approximately 1-2 times per month as part of the Chum Salmon Recovery Project. Work is done throughout the lower reaches of Bowker Creek with an emphasis on the duck ponds 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.

Hi everyone,
It’s been several weeks since the last session but I am planning to get planting this Sunday, March 19, from 10-12 at the Monteith Allotment Gardens (Monteith Street, just south of Cranmore Rd). I have many dull Oregon grape plants and potentially a few ferns and other small shrubs to bring to help build up the forest understory in an area once overgrown with invasive English ivy. If time permits, we may do a little bit of invasive species removal as well. Please bring your own gloves. I will provide tools, though feel free to bring your own shovel or trowel just in case we run out of tools. The area we will primarily be working in is under some shrubs so requires a lot of crouching and kneeling so consider bringing a kneeling pad if that’s useful for you. Please let me know if you think you will make it!

Thanks,
Brandon


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

Bowker Creek Riparian Restoration at Monteith Street in Oak Bay

2nd & 4th Wednesdays of each month, 1:00-3:00 pm

Join us in restoring streambank habitat in the most natural section of the stream. Meet at the creek where it passes under Monteith Street to the east of Firefighters Park. Tools supplied. Bring your own mug for tea-time after the work session. We’d love to see you there! Contact: geralddh@pacificcoast.net


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!

Hello everyone,
I am planning the next forage fish survey at Haynes Beach a week from today, Sunday March 12 at 10:30am. Please remember to dress for the weather and to wear gum boots if you have them! 
Please let me know if you can make it. Hope to see some of you out there 
Cheers,
Sabine


Previous Restoration Work Sessions

On Saturday, April 23, 2022 we held a planting and weeding work party at the two uppermost Bowker Creek duck ponds in Bowker Creek Park, at the footbridge just downstream of Oak Bay High School. We planted native sedges, grasses and native wildflowers. This will likely be the last planting session at the duck ponds for the spring season until fall, but there will be invasive removal sessions throughout summer.

On Sunday April 24, we held a planting and weeding session along Bowker Creek at Oak Bay High School, which is regularly scheduled for the last Sunday of every month. In addition to invasive removal, we planted thimbleberry, Sitka willow, black twinberry and red elderberry to re-establish vegetation in an area recently cleared of reed canary grass. 

Plants are funded by a grant from Coastal Collaborative Sciences, through Peninsula Streams Society. Other donors of plants that we have planted this month are Louise Goulet and the Victoria Horticultural Society. Friends of Bowker Creek Society greatly appreciates the plants and materials, and we are committed to making the best possible use of them.