“The health of our waters is the principle measure of how we live on the land.” – Luna Leopold
Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities
On October 22nd, the cold, windy, wet weather did not deter close to 70 volunteers from collecting 32 bags of trash and 25 bags of recyclables along the trails and streams in First State National Historical Park as part of the fall Stream Stewards Stream Clean-up. The group of volunteers, which included families, college students, a local Boy Scout Troop, and recent TNC interns, were all motivated to stewardship action due to a strong connection they feel with nature when they are in the park.
Stream Stewards volunteers. © The Nature Conservancy
About the Stream Stewards Program
Stream Stewards is a Citizen Science program designed to engage people of all ages and backgrounds in watershed stewardship. Adult volunteers are invited to sign up for a series of training sessions to learn how to monitor the water quality of streams that flow through First State National Historical Park to Brandywine Creek. A curriculum is being developed for students and their families to become engaged in water quality monitoring near their schools and homes. All participants will learn about stewardship opportunities for improving the health of their watersheds, and contributing to conservation in their communities.
Brandywine Creek supplies 100% of the drinking water for Wilmington residents. When water runs off of surfaces with low permeability like paved roads, it carries contaminants that enter the streams that feed into Brandywine Creek. This run-off degrades the water quality and threatens this important resource, lowering its habitat value for wildlife, and making it unsafe for activities such as fishing and swimming. Through a partnership between The Nature Conservancy, National Park Service, and Stroud Water Research Center, and funding from the William Penn Foundation, Stream Stewards will engage citizen scientist volunteers in data collection that will help to address these water quality issues.
Stream Stewards Will:
- Learn about watershed ecology
- Be trained in water quality monitoring and data collection techniques
- Connect with nature in First State National Historical Park
- Contribute to conservation and natural resource management
- Become Citizen Scientists
- Join a diverse community of volunteers and stewardship leaders
Fee: You must be at least 18 years old to apply to be a Stream Steward. All applicants accepted into the program will be asked to pay a fee of $30 to help cover the cost of training materials and supplies. As a Stream Steward you will receive a Stream Stewards shirt, resource materials and access to our TNC Delaware Chapter and Great Places newsletters. Please bring to your first training session a check for $30 made out to “The Nature Conservancy.”
Training and Service:
All volunteers interested in becoming a Stream Steward must participate in at least four training sessions that will take place in First State National Historical Park from 1:00-5:00pm on Saturdays in late summer and early fall 2017, dates TBD.
After completing the training, Stream Stewards must complete at least 20 hours of service, which can include working independently or in groups to collect water quality data at monitoring sites, and participating in stewardship projects such as plantings and invasive species removal.
Stream Stewards are also encouraged to participate in our spring and fall stream clean-ups which are open to the public, and tend to draw other community members interested in stream stewardship. This is a great opportunity to act as an ambassador for the program and help to recruit more Stream Stewards!