BOWKER CREEK BLUEPRINT IS A BEACON OF INSPIRATION: “One of my passions is to bring nature into the city so that we do not have these two distinctive zones – this is where humans live and this is where nature lives. Those two things can come together. That is my vision for Bowker Creek and why I enjoy volunteering,” stated Brandon Williamson, Friends of Bower Creek, when describing the mission for restoration of a degraded urban stream
Note to Reader:
Bowker Creek originates at the University of Victoria on southern Vancouver Island and flows for 8 km through three municipalities – Saanich, Victoria and Oak Bay. The creekshed is completely urbanized. The impervious area coverage is 56%. Over 30,000 people reside in the surrounding creeks.
Released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in conjunction with BC Rivers Day in September 2021, A Beacon of Inspiration: Bowker Creek Blueprint and 100-Year Action Plan is a short history of building bridges of understanding from the past to the present and future. It is a story of local government champions and community leaders who share a vision, embrace shared responsibility, and are bringing Bowker Creek back to life.
In A Beacon of Inspiration, the Partnership tells the “story behind the story” to showcase the history and evolution of the Blueprint process over the past two decades. The storyline is structured in three parts. The first two cover the past two decades. The third part comprises interviews with current players who are collaborating to set a direction for the second decade of Bowker Blueprint implementation.
Presented below is the interview with Brandon Williamson, a community volunteer who is being groomed to take on a leadership role in the Friends of Bowker Creek Society.
Bring Nature into the City
Brandon Williamson is a 2019 graduate of the University of Victoria. COVID created the opportunity for him to spend 2020 volunteering with the Friends of Bowker Creek. In the process, he discovered his passion and his mission. Gerald Harris is mentoring Brandon so that he will be well-prepared in taking on a leadership role on the Streamkeepers Working Group and eventually within the society at the Directors level.
An Intergenerational Mission
“Over the past year, I have gained a passion for Bowker Creek and its restoration. I do understand that the work that needs to be done is a very long-term thing. I am committed and excited to volunteer over the long term to see out the vision,” states Brandon Williamson.
“I got involved to get hands-on experience in my field of interest. Also, I am somebody who looks around when I am out for a walk and thinks about how things could be better. I like to see that change happen.”
“A lot of people complain about things, but they do not do anything about it. For this reason, I was determined to do something. It gives me a feeling of purpose by having one thing that I can attach myself to and feel like I am making a positive addition to my community and to the world.”
To Learn More:
A Beacon of Inspiration is the 10th in the Partnership’s Watershed Blueprint Case Profile Series. Because there is no equal to the Bowker Creek Blueprint and the intergenerational 100-Year Action Plan, the intent is that this “story behind the story” will have lasting value as a legacy resource for the Bowker Creek Urban Watershed Renewal Initiative. The Partnership’s hope is that others will be inspired by the Bowker experience.
The Bowker Creek Blueprint is a 100-year action plan to peel back the pavement, daylight an historical creek, and restore nature within the Victoria urban region on Vancouver Island. The intergenerational commitment by so many players is inspirational.
To read the complete story, download a copy of A Beacon of Inspiration: Bowker Creek Blueprint and 100-Year Action Plan.