Help Keep Local Streams Healthy: Town of Wake Forest, NC is Recruiting Adopt-A-Stream Volunteers

Volunteers at the Smith Creek stream. Source: Bill Crabtree, Town of Wake Forest
Volunteers at the Smith Creek stream. Source: Bill Crabtree, Town of Wake Forest


The Town of Wake Forest is recruiting Adopt-A-Stream volunteers to help keep the town’s streams healthy. The initiative offers residents the opportunity to become involved in an environmental effort that helps protect our natural resources, therefore improving water quality and stream habitats.

Anyone with an interest in healthy streams and the outdoors is invited to participate. To adopt a stream, individuals or groups agree to perform one of the following tasks on a section of stream for one year:

  • water quality monitoring;
  • stream clean-up;
  • stream repair and planting; or
  • drain labeling.

Water quality monitors make observations and record what they see in their section of stream. Monitors work from a field data sheet and make monthly observations of algae, insect life, stream bank conditions, appearance of water, odors and stream flow. They also collect data using monitoring kits.

Stream clean-up participants agree to organize at least two stream clean-ups in their adopted stream section over the course of the year. After each litter collection, they submit a form that briefly describes the types of trash they collected, such as tires, bottles, and paper. Participating groups receive vests, bags and gloves and may schedule their clean-ups to coincide with Earth Day and North Carolina’s Big Sweep.

Finally, depending on their interest and abilities, volunteers may choose to help with stream restoration work. Volunteer help is needed planting native trees and shrubs along the stream bank to create a healthy buffer zone. Help is also needed spray painting a stenciled message on Wake Forest storm drains. The message reminds citizens that what goes into the storm drain ends up in the stream.

Wake Forest encourages individuals, families, scout troops, youth groups, schools, churches, community and service organizations, and special interest groups to get involved. Again, anyone with an interest in healthy streams and the outdoors is welcome to help preserve and maintain local waterways.

Participation in the Adopt-A-Stream program is easy. A stream section must be adopted for a period of one year with the option to renew the agreement after the year is completed. Minors under age 18 may participate if their parents or guardians sign a Youth Participation Release in addition to the Adopt-A-Stream Release Form. The parent or guardian must accompany the minor or assign responsibility to an adult representative of the Adopt-A-Stream applicant.

For complete details, including information about available stream sections, visit or contact Assistant Public Works Director Allison Snyder at 919.435.9585 or via email.

The Town of Wake Forest spans Franklin and Wake Counties, North Carolina. It is located north of Raleigh, NC. Visit the town government website at


Source: Bill Crabtree, Town of Wake Forest


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