Through the Uncover Your Creeks program, Evergreen engages community members in urban watershed restoration and education. Participants dive in by removing invasive plants, reintroducing native plants and collecting and analyzing water quality samples from their local urban creeks.
Before we built our cities, streams used to flow freely across the landscape. Those streams are still present, but they are confined to underground pipes and concrete channels that are subject to flooding, carry a slurry of contaminants picked up on the journey over city streets and are inhospitable to aquatic life.
During the development of our cities, forests were removed and the land was disturbed. The disturbed lands, including the riparian area—the area immediately beside a stream—are now dominated by invasive plants. Uncover Your Creeks volunteers work to remove invasive plants, reintroduce native plants and restore the biodiversity of riparian areas and the health of the stream.
Water quality in urban streams is diminished by inputs of polluted stormwater. This can include spills from residential, commercial and industrial sites, excessive fertilizer use, and sometimes, sewage overflows. By sampling and evaluating the water quality, we can determine the health of the stream, the impacts humans are having, and what actions we can take to mitigate those impacts.
Uncover Your Creeks encourages participants to become Citizen Scientists. By learning about local ecosystems and collecting data, we can better understand how to restore and care for our urban watersheds.
Volunteers are the backbone of Uncover Your Creeks. It is their passion and participation that allow Evergreen and its partners to collect important monitoring data and restore urban watersheds across the country.