Bowker Creek at Oak Bay High School

by Derek Shrubsole

The restoration of Bowker Creek in 2015 produced an ecosystem with a winding creek water path, native plant species, and an outdoor classroom, providing educational and natural history opportunities for Oak Bay High school students as well as for members of the community.


Bowker Creek Prior to the Restoration
Prior to the restoration, the section of Bowker Creek passing by Oak Bay High school was a straight concrete-lined channel, with a small and steep riparian area, overgrown with invasive plant species. 

Bowker Creek Project – Student Connection
A key aspect of the restoration project continues to be providing a connection between the students of Oak Bay High School and Bowker Creek.  In the finishing stages of the project, students had the opportunity to participate in the plantings of the native plant species. 

After the Storm
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A purposeful part of the restoration was to have Bowker Creek once again mimic a natural water course.  Prior to the restoration, the straight path of the creek created high velocities of water after a rain storm.  With the new creek pathway, the volume of water is slowed, allowing aquatic invertebrates not to be swept away as they once were. 

Outdoor Classroom Area
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The outdoor classroom area is a key educational component to the outdoor classroom.  Intended to help foster a connection between the students and the Bowker Creek riparian ecosystem, its tiered seating area allows lessons to be taught outdoors, with students surrounded by the plants and animals being studied. 

Science 9 Discovery Museum Partnership Project
The students of the Sc 9 Discovery class partnered with the Ocean Studies class at Monterey Middle School in a school-museum collaborative project.  The project research and design focused on the driving question: How can understanding the health and history of a local stream ecosystem guide our future understanding of the world around us?