Bowker Creek once meandered through forests, meadows and wetlands, before spilling into the ocean in Oak Bay. Salmon spawned in the stream and provided food for First Nations. Early European residents dubbed the stream “The Thames” as it was the largest in the area
As agriculture and urban development expanded in the watershed, the stream channel was excavated, straightened and enclosed in pipes in order to facilitate drainage and reduce the risk of flooding surrounding areas. These objectives were accomplished for the most part (although some areas do still flood), but at the expense of a properly functioning creek.
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 and chum 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 50% of the Bowker Creek watershed is composed of impervious surfaces such as roads, parking areas and roofs
(source of facts: Friends of Bowker Creek Society www.bowkercreek.org
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