Adopt-A-Stream

Town of Wake Forest, Adopt a Stream (Smith Creek)The Adopt-A-Stream Program allows volunteers to monitor their neighborhood streams and determine the stream's health. 

Adopt-A-Stream volunteers are environmental stewards who play a vital role in keeping Wake Forest's streams healthy. By taking a proactive role, you can help identify problems and repair streams in Wake Forest.

How does the program work?

To adopt a stream, your group agrees to perform one of the following tasks on a section of the stream for a period of one year.

Option A: Water Quality Monitoring

Just like diagnosing a person or pet that is sick, we take all the symptoms of a stream together to determine its health. By observing the color of the stream we can tell the type of pollutant that might be in the water. Observing fish behavior (or absence of fish) also gives us clues to water quality.

As a water quality monitor, your group will make observations and record what you see in your stream section for a period of one year. You will work from a field data sheet and make monthly observations of algae, insect life, condition of stream bank, appearance of water, odors and stream flow. You will also collect data using monitoring kits. 

Your group will be provided with all the equipment you need including nets, kits and safety vests.

Each time you collect data, you will submit your findings to the town’s Public Works Department so our staff can quickly address any problems. 

Option B: Stream Clean-Up

Your group agrees to organize at least two stream clean-ups in the adopted stream section. After each litter collection, you will submit a form to briefly describe the types of trash your group collected such as tires, bottles, paper, etc.

Your group may want to schedule the clean-ups to coincide with Earth Day and North Carolina’s Big Sweep. 

Safety vests, bags and gloves will be provided. 

Option C: Stream Repair, Planting, or Drain Labeling

Depending on your interest and abilities, you can 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 all storm drains. The message reminds citizens that what goes into the storm drain ends up in the stream. 

Can anyone volunteer to adopt a stream?

We encourage individuals, families, scout troops, youth groups, schools, churches, community and service organizations, and special interest groups to get involved. Anyone with an interest in healthy streams and the outdoors is welcome to help us preserve and maintain our waterways. A stream section must be adopted for a period of one year with the option to renew the agreement after the year is completed.

Can Children Participate?

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 must assign responsibility to an adult representative of the Adopt-A-Stream applicant.  

Are Volunteers Compensated?

As a volunteer you will not be paid, but you will be rewarded.

  • Your name and/or group name will appear on the town’s website, Community Channel 10 and in Our Town newsletter.

  • You will receive special recognition at our Volunteer Appreciation Event. 

  • Most important, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re actively protecting and maintaining natural resources. 

Can We Contract the Work to Someone Else?

You may do the work yourself, with other volunteers, or hire a contractor to do the work for you. All volunteers or contractors must first sign an Adopt-A-Stream Release Form prior to beginning work.

Where do I sign up?

If you or anyone you know is interested in adopting a Wake Forest stream, please contact the Adopt-a-Stream Program
Coordinator: 

Carrie Mitchell, PE
Environmental Engineer
919-435-9443
cmitchell@wakeforestnc.gov

Before any work is initiated, the volunteering group or individual will sign an Adopt-A-Stream Agreement outlining the responsibilities and obligations of adopting a stream, and each participating trail volunteer must sign an Adopt-A-Stream Release Form that must be mailed or delivered to Wake Forest Town Hall before any work may begin.

Available Stream Segments

Stream Map

Adopt-A-Stream
Environmental Engineer
919-435-9443