Proposed Abstract Title

Connecting the school to the stream...a collaborative restoration

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Bringing Communities Together to Embark on Major Estuarine Restoration

Location

2016SSEC

Description

A successful collaboration enabled restoration of the section of Bowker Creek through Oak Bay High School in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Its completion achieved a key short-term priority in the Bowker Creek Blueprint: A 100 Year Action Plan to Restore the Bowker Creek Watershed which sets out a long term vision and opportunistic plan to restore hydrological function to this highly urbanized watershed.The Blueprint was developed by the Bowker Creek Initiative (BCI),a partnership of local governments, community groups, and institutions.

Key restoration objectives were to ensure safe conveyance of flood flows, improve aquatic and riparian habitat, provide accessibility to the creek with trails and a greenway, and create an outdoor classroom and viewing platform. A multidisciplinary project team consisting of District of Oak Bay, School District 61, the BCI and the Capital Regional District (CRD) worked with engineering consultants and landscape architects to design the restoration. Student and community input was obtained through a design charrette and the students were engaged in many aspects of creek restoration and monitoring.

Removing the creek from containment in a straight concrete channel transformed this reach into a more natural meandering form with native riparian and aquatic habitat. An outdoor classroom, built into the bank of the restored creek, will be used to deliver watershed focused curriculum developed to give students experiential, creek-side learning on freshwater biology, urban creek hydrology, and the adaptive capacity of waterways, while contributing to the long-term monitoring of the creek.

The restored creek acts as a sustainable demonstration showcase that will result in improved water quality and habitat, increased storage of high flows, decreased downstream flooding, and improved climate adaptability and carbon sequestration. This project would not have been possible without Oak Bay, the Bowker Creek Initiative, the CRD, the school district, the design and construction teams and funding from the Federal Gas Tax Fund.

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Connecting the school to the stream...a collaborative restoration

2016SSEC

A successful collaboration enabled restoration of the section of Bowker Creek through Oak Bay High School in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Its completion achieved a key short-term priority in the Bowker Creek Blueprint: A 100 Year Action Plan to Restore the Bowker Creek Watershed which sets out a long term vision and opportunistic plan to restore hydrological function to this highly urbanized watershed.The Blueprint was developed by the Bowker Creek Initiative (BCI),a partnership of local governments, community groups, and institutions.

Key restoration objectives were to ensure safe conveyance of flood flows, improve aquatic and riparian habitat, provide accessibility to the creek with trails and a greenway, and create an outdoor classroom and viewing platform. A multidisciplinary project team consisting of District of Oak Bay, School District 61, the BCI and the Capital Regional District (CRD) worked with engineering consultants and landscape architects to design the restoration. Student and community input was obtained through a design charrette and the students were engaged in many aspects of creek restoration and monitoring.

Removing the creek from containment in a straight concrete channel transformed this reach into a more natural meandering form with native riparian and aquatic habitat. An outdoor classroom, built into the bank of the restored creek, will be used to deliver watershed focused curriculum developed to give students experiential, creek-side learning on freshwater biology, urban creek hydrology, and the adaptive capacity of waterways, while contributing to the long-term monitoring of the creek.

The restored creek acts as a sustainable demonstration showcase that will result in improved water quality and habitat, increased storage of high flows, decreased downstream flooding, and improved climate adaptability and carbon sequestration. This project would not have been possible without Oak Bay, the Bowker Creek Initiative, the CRD, the school district, the design and construction teams and funding from the Federal Gas Tax Fund.