Friends of Bowker Creek: Save Thaywun – Bowker Creek!

The Friends of Bowker Creek Society have requested the Minister of Education, the Honourable Jennifer Whiteside, to encourage Greater Victoria School District 61 follow the prescribed process should they wish to dispose of the 1.9 acre south-west portion of the land that was once Richmond Elementary School and is now the south campus of Lansdowne Middle School. This property lays wholly within the District of Saanich.

Bowker Creek was first known as Thaywun – coho salmon stream – by the Songhees Nation of the lək̓ʷəŋən People.

You may read here the letter from the FoBCS.

How may you as a Saanich resident help?

  1. Read the letter from the FoBCS to the Minister to understand how SD61 has apparently ignored the rules put in place to deal with exactly this type of scenario.
  2. Email the Trustees trustees@sd61.bc.ca asking to stop the sale of this public land, and instead keep it for flood mitigation and outdoor education for children – where they can have safe access to the creek, see wildlife, and learn about riparian restoration and what it means to care for and be connected to a creek in the city.
  3. Speak at the School Board Meeting. Members of the public may register to speak at the Jan. 24th meeting by Wednesday 12 pm noon of the prior week (Wed. Jan. 19th) by emailing your request to speak to: vhanley@sd61.bc.ca or phone: 250.475.4106 (Victoria Hanley is the Executive Assistant to the Secretary-Treasurer and Board of Education). You are allowed up to 5 minutes to make your presentation. Please consider registering to speak, or write to the Board of Trustees at: trustees@sd61.bc.ca to express your values for this property and stake in the proposed sale.
  4. Spread the word

Please note that SD61 negotiated and signed a Purchase and Sale Agreement in September 2021, prior to any ministerial approval, and absent of any discussion of alternative community uses with local governments, community organizations or the public. This appears to be contrary to your Ministry policies, disrespects the principles of administrative fairness and may constrain you as a decision maker. This also undermines what our educational system stands for and profoundly damages public trust in our institutions.

Letter from FoBCS to Minister of Education

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CCA makes $500 donation to Shelbourne Community Kitchen

Your community association helped to found the Shelbourne Community Kitchen, and is pleased to have recently donated $500 to support its purpose. Please take a minute to learn about the vision and mission of the SCK, and consider helping them achieve their goals.

Left to Right are Vicki Sanders (CCA Board), Vernon Lord (CCA Board) and Clarice Dillman (Board Chair of Shelbourne Community Kitchen)
Vicki Sanders and Vernon Lord of the CCA present a cheque from the
CCA to Clarice Dillman of the Shelbourne Community Kitchen.
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2020 AGM Minutes

At the recent 2021 AGM, held by Zoom meeting, the minutes of the 2020 AGM were approved. They may be found here for your reading enjoyment.

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Bowker Creek: more than just a creek!

We’ve posted about Bowker Creek several times in the past decade on our CCA website. The recent rains here have shown the important role this waterway plays within Saanich, the Shelbourne valley watershed, and our community area.

We ignore the needs of floodwater management at our peril, as this image of Bowker Creek overflowing with the mid-November deluge demonstrates.

The 10 year old Bowker Creek Blueprint continues to be championed by the Friends of Bowker Creek Society.

The blueprint forms a 100 year CRD planning document that outlines detailed plans for restoration of the creek, including flood control measures for Saanich, Victoria and Oak Bay and a multi use trail from UVic to the ocean. 

The triangle behind Lansdowne middle school south is one of the few places where the creek is above ground and is an important part of the plan as well as being designated a proposed park by Saanich.

p.20, Bowker Creek Blueprint, courtesy of Saanich

The Bowker Creek Daylighting Feasibility Study(2020) shows detailed plans of proposed creek realignment and storm water facilities on both the Lansdowne middle school north and south fields, which will help prevent future flooding in Saanich, Victoria and Oak Bay.

p.63 Bowker Creek Daylighting Feasibility Study, courtesy of CRD

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November 8, 2021 board minutes

The minutes of the November 8, 2021 meeting of the CCA board of directors may be found here.

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Help to Save Kings Road Park!

You.leadnow.ca has posted an online petition for you to sign and a plea to our Saanich Mayor and Council, Directors of the CRD and the MLAs of British Columbia to preserve the BC Hydro property known locally as Kings Road Park as green space for our community.

We the undersigned urge the city of Saanich to work with the Province and CRD to acquire this BC Hydro owned property, slated for imminent sale, and preserve the green space in its entirety as a municipal park.

https://you.leadnow.ca/petitions/save-the-largest-remaining-natural-green-space-in-south-saanich

The CCA urges you to sign this petition. With the planned subdivision of two SD61 school properties within the CCA’s boundaries, our local green space is already diminishing.

Why is this important?

This green space is used by hundreds of residents every day, is home to numerous bird and pollinating species, and has been treated as a park for the past 68 years. The area contains a creek, its riparian zone and floodplain.

Lets keep Saanich green!

https://you.leadnow.ca/petitions/save-the-largest-remaining-natural-green-space-in-south-saanich
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October 14, 2021 board minutes

The minutes of the October 14, 2021 meeting of the CCA board of directors may be found here.

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November 2021 Newsletter and Update

Please enjoy the CCA newsletter and update for this month at this link.

Highlights include:

  • A survey on the recent sale and planned sale by SD61 of sections of school property at, respectively, the main Lansdowne Middle School location and its south campus at the former Richmond Elementary school.
  • A link to an information session to be presented by SD61 on the second planned sale is provided.
  • A reminder of our upcoming AGM.
  • An update to Abstract Developments’ proposal for the development of 1647 McRae Avenue.

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2021 Annual General Meeting (via Zoom)

The Camosun Community Association hosts its 2021 Annual General Meeting at 7 pm on Thursday, November 18 via Zoom.

On the agenda for the AGM is:

  • Guest speaker Gerald Harris, Friends of Bowker Creek Society Director, talking about the release of salmon into Bowker Creek
  • Executive reports and updates
  • Nominations and elections of select executive positions

The CCA requires all those interested in attending the virtual AGM to pre-register for the meeting by emailing camosunca@gmail.com with your first and last name. The link to the Zoom meeting will be sent to registered attendees the day before the AGM. Please ensure you have downloaded and tested Zoom (top menu, Resources->Download Zoom Client) before the meeting.

To be eligible to vote or become a board member, your membership must be paid by Thursday, November 11. Please visit the membership page on our website if you would like to purchase or renew a CCA Membership.

We hope to see you at our virtual AGM on November 18th!

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Survey on SD61 Land Sales

The CCA has posted a survey on Facebook regarding the two recent land sales by School District 61 that directly affect school properties within the CCA boundaries.

The first sale of land at Lansdowne Middle School is to provide space for a new francophone school. The second sale of land at the south campus of Lansdowne Middle School – the grounds of the former Richmond Elementary school – is to provide a building site for the Victoria Hospice Society.

Both of these sales have been covered in local newspapers, and news of same has been posted on this site. See Lansdowne Middle School property: a new French school?, Info session: sale of 7.3 acres of land at Lansdowne Middle School, Deadline for Lansdowne Middle School land sale feedback: June 14, and Lansdowne Middle School south campus giving up land to Hospice.

Not a Facebook fan? The link to the survey is https://forms.gle/pRHMTfP4jWho3bHm7

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