Daylighting The Stream


In the course of producing the Fernwood Green Map, some of us mappers became very interested in the stream that rose at Harris Pond and emptied into Rock Bay. It had no official name – we think of it as Rock Bay Creek — and no one’s seen it since Harris Pond was filled in and the stream was culverted.


Now, following on the successful remediation of Bowker Creek, we have plans to daylight parts of our stream – to bring it back to the surface in water gardens where it now flows below areas of green space: Alexander Park (Bay, Walnut and Oregon) , the green triangle at Cook and Haultain, etc. The city is positive about the idea but they’ve recently upgraded several of those green spaces, so they’re not about to tear up their new designs.


The stream flowed from Fernwood through North Park, Hillside/Quadra and Burnside/Gorge. Now neighbours in all four communities have started to prepare the way for bringing back parts of the stream and linking our neighbourhoods. Dan Doherty has led several stream walks pointing out how the streetscape and the vegetation tells us where it used to flow. In the spring, we’re planning a bigger, better stream walk through Hillside/Quadra and Burnside/Gorge.


We’ve also begun thinking about ways to remind neighbours about the water we took for granted and that we hope to see again:  a mandala with reeds and ducks where Harris Pond used to be? Salmon stenciled on the path of the stream? A stream parade with kids in salmon suits? A Rock Bay Creek song? Keep your ears open for opportunities to take part.


We plan to continue screening the film “Lost Rivers” at various times and places. It tells the story of waterway restoration in Italy, London, and a suburb of New York. It’s a fantastic look at the underbelly of old cities and how citizens have worked with their abused water systems and brought them back to become vital to the lives of the people. Look for screening times and dates under Events.


Lots going on. If you’d like to be kept informed of the next stream walk, upcoming events, or take part in the daylighting discussion, email Dorothy Field (dotter [at] seaside [dot] net) and you’ll be on the list.


Harris Pond – Rock Bay Creek map PDF.