Locals want pedestrian path along Bowker Creek at Oak Bay Recreation Centre parking lot

Ruth Currey, left, and Ian Graeme stand by Bowker Creek between the Oak Bay High School field and track. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)Ruth Currey, left, and Ian Graeme stand by Bowker Creek between the Oak Bay High School field and track. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Ruth Currey, a member of Friends of Bowker Creek stands by Bowker Creek near the northeastern corner of the Oak Bay Recreation Centre's parking lot. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Ruth Currey, right, and Ian Graeme stand by Bowker Creek between the Oak Bay High School field and track. (Jake Romphf/News Staff) (Jake Romphf/News Staff)Ruth Currey, right, and Ian Graeme stand by Bowker Creek between the Oak Bay High School field and track. (Jake Romphf/News Staff) (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Ruth Currey, front, and Ian Graeme stand by a thin foot path along Bowker Creek near the north edge of Oak Bay Recreation Centre’s parking lot. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)Ruth Currey, front, and Ian Graeme stand by a thin foot path along Bowker Creek near the north edge of Oak Bay Recreation Centre’s parking lot. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)

As Oak Bay prepares to resurface some of its recreation centre’s parking lot, some locals want the project to include a pedestrian path along the section that borders Bowker Creek.

The creek runs for about 100 metres along the parking lot’s north edge and there’s little space to walk between its banks and a row of parking spaces.

Ian Graeme hopes council will reconfigure the parking lot to better utilize the creek’s ecology and connect it to the more developed creekside walkway to the east.

The north edge of Oak Bay Recreation Centre’s parking lot.(Jake Romphf/News Staff)

“I think it’s a big opportunity to do things differently,” Graeme told council during its April 26 meeting.

Just east of the lot is a paved path that runs between Oak Bay High School and various recreation facilities.

Graeme hopes a new path could be a safe connection to the already revitalized walkway along Bowker Creek for seniors and those with mobility issues.

“Something you could do with very little expenditure is rededicate some of those parking spaces adjacent to the creek and just make that a safe, connecting pathway,” Graeme said.

“If you had this better linkage via this continuous walkway, I think there would be some real benefits there.”

READ: Ten years in, Greater Victoria’s 100-year Bowker Creek blueprint gets a boost

Council adopted the 2021 to 2025 financial plan on May 10. The plan includes $350,000 to repave the centre’s upper and lower parking lots this year.

The work will start in June but will be limited to the lower section and some minor patches on the upper level. Daniel Horan, Oak Bay’s director of engineering and public works, said that’s because they’re waiting on some assessment results that are needed to better understand what work the creek’s south bank, along the parking lot, will require in the short and medium term.

“The project may include a path, bank remediation, or other (items) as the detailed design work is completed – but as nothing can be done without financial approval, it was important to have this in the approved budget,” said Oak Bay Mayor Kevin Murdoch, in an email.

Graeme said the creek is a “wonderful natural fixture running through the neighbourhood,” but the stretch along the parking lot isn’t currently very esthetically pleasing, which one Oak Bay councillor agreed with at the April 26 meeting.

“That particular stretch of Bowker Creek, I’ve always looked at with a little bit of sorrow because it has such potential,” said Coun. Eric Wood Zhelka.

READ: Oak Bay declares a decade of ecological restoration

Ruth Currey, a member of the Friends of Bowker Creek, said locals are very invested in the creek, and a path linkage from the parking lot would enhance the whole area.

“It could be such a community draw,” she said.

Horan noted council will get a report this summer that will spur the “bigger picture” plans for the creek.

READ: Oak Bay dad dies mountain biking near Shawnigan Lake


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

oak bay

Just Posted

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read