Become a Steward of your Watershed!
About the Program
Do you enjoy the great outdoors? Are you tired of seeing trash strewn in and along our waterways? Want to do something about it? Pick a section of stream that you would like to keep clean and adopt it. Your family, a group of friends, or a scout troop, civic organization, church, or business may become a member of the Adopt-A-Stream Program!
You will be provided training on how to conduct monitoring of the health of your adopted stream section along with how to execute a safe and successful clean-up. We will provide gloves, safety vests, bags and even pick up all of your bagged trash.
In return for your commitment, you will receive a stream-side Adopt-A-Stream sign commemorating your service and join a community of action-minded individuals who have made the decision to get out and make a difference!
The Knox Area Water Quality Forum in cooperation with the City of Knoxville, Knox County, the Town of Farragut, the City of Oak Ridge and the University of Tennessee have partnered to form the Adopt-A-Stream Program, a citizen-based monitoring and litter prevention initiative intended to protect the health and serenity of our local waterways and educate our communities on the environmental concerns that impact them every day on a personal level. Our shared vision is that all of the streams flowing through Knox County, the City of Knoxville, the Town of Farragut, the City of Oak Ridge, and the University of Tennessee will be adopted and collectively cared for by citizens, businesses, and organizations in our communities.
To Join the Adopt-A-Stream Program you will first need to define your team and select a coordinator(s) to be trained on the Adopt-A-Stream protocol. As a group you should then determine the general section of stream you are mutually interested in adopting. If you don’t know of one, you can discuss the general area with one of the five Adopt-A-Stream Municipal Contacts (see below) and he/she can help you identify an adoptable site.
We ask that our teams commit to annually conducting:
- Two Stream Cleanups: Get your group together to rid your stream section of litter and other non-natural debris that has made its way into and around the waterway.
As well as at least one of the following:
- One Stream Walk: A simple quantitative visual assessment of stream health looking at stream characteristics like canopy cover and extent of erosion, these kinds of assessments can help guide future projects to protect and improve the quality of your stream.
- One Invasive Species Removal: Plants can make their way into new environments where they grow unchecked and with little competition. Take up your gloves and tools to remove some of these pesky plants to improve the diversity and health of the ecosystem around your stream.
- One Chemical Testing Sampling: Provides invaluable data to Stormwater Programs on local stream pollution as well as potential nearby sources. This information can help us work towards stopping pollution before it makes its way into your stream and ensure the water is safe and healthy for a variety of uses.
- One Tree Planting: Planting native plants and trees can help improve the overall health of your stream as well provide a major visual improvement. The impacts and benefits from this activity grow with the plants themselves!
- Host an educational event: Events such as a block party with your local HOA or a social mixer with your organization is a great way for your family/friends/neighbors to learn more about stream management and how to keep your local streams healthy and beautiful!
Training and materials will be provided for each of these options.
How to Get Started
When you’re ready to take the next step, get in touch with the Adopt-A-Stream Contact for your area (City of Knoxville, Knox County, Town of Farragut, City of Oak Ridge, UT campus). Your Adopt-A-Stream Contact will ask you for your group name, the name of your team’s coordinator (who will be expected to attend the training, organize monitoring and clean-up events), the coordinator(s)’s contact information (address, telephone and e-mail), the location of the stream section your team wishes to adopt and the name to appear on the adoption sign, as well as which of the above monitoring activities you would like to conduct in addition to the stream trash clean-ups.
Give us a call today and become a part of this rewarding service opportunity!
Stephanie Carlson / Knox County Stormwater Engineering (865)215-5540
John Shubzda / City of Knoxville Stormwater Management (865)215-4134
Lori Saal / Town of Farragut Engineering (865)966-7057
Amy Snyder / City of Oak Ridge Stormwater (865)425-1829
Garrett Ferry /University of Tennessee (865)805-4007
Click on your municipality’s Adopt-A-Stream Coordinator to send them an email.