Members of the 5th Garry oak Scouts in Oak Bay, Emmett Gough, Adam Ross and Nathan Williams have been working on a project to map native and invasive species in Bowker Creek. They have been removing invasive plants with the help of the District of Oak Bay and the Friends of Bowker Creek. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Trio of 10-year-olds swap invasive for native plants in Bowker Creek

Garry Oak Scouts take on capstone project

A trio of boys in the 5th Garry Oak Scouts have taken on a capstone project to remove invasive species from the creek and replace them with native plants.

So far it’s meant getting right into the creek and mapping the invasive and native plants before removing them. Nathan Williams, Emmett Gough and Adam Ross are all 10 and in Grade 5 at Willows elementary. They started a few months ago and are passionate about the work.

READ ALSO: Video: Oak Bay High soccer turf closed indefinitely as fibres shed into Bowker Creek

“We’ve been going on for three months,” Ross said.

“It feels good to be improving things but you also realize how much it has changed over the years,” Williams said.

“It’s for a better future,” Gough said.

The trio partnered with Friends of Bowker Creek and the District of Oak Bay for the project. The latter removed a major tree as part of the invasive removal. The boys will soon be adding native plants, and will be sure to document them in the inventory of their Bowker Creek map.

“By the end we want it to be invasive free, native, and a thriving metropolis for ducks,” Williams said.

READ MORE: Bowker Creek 100-year restoration plan gets new signage

“It’s about a [natural] balance,” said Gough, noting that they also pulled out a lot of garbage. “We found a 100 per cent polyester shirt.”

They also pulled out a cone, a basketball, some hockey pucks, dog balls and candy wrappers.

When they are on site they are joined by Ruth Currey and other Friends of Bowker Creek members. Currey helps the boys identify plants but credits them for the project.

“They deserve all the praise for this,” Currey said.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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