Take Action to Help Our Streams

“I want everything to be better for my children. The land, the water, the environment, myself.”

– Jaren H., Oxon Run
Vasna Nontanovan

“I’m really grateful that I’m able to be part of…organizations that are trying to help clean up the water, our water system or waterways. That’s been something I would like to continue to be part of – to have some impact on cleaning our waterways. That’s my goal.”

– Vasna N.


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    Sponsored by: Nature Forward


    We all need to work together to protect our streams and watersheds – and that takes resources.

    Creek Critters®

    Find Out Your Own Stream’s Health with Creek Critters®

    Help at Home

    What you do uphill affects your neighbors downhill. Keep trash and pollution from ending up in their back yards and protect your streams.

    “In the city of Hyattsville, we’re trying to do things with rain gardens and better street design, and replanting in the parks some of the canopy trees that have been lost over the last several years. Ultimately, I am drawn to the water and I love to come here with my kids. I love the skip rocks in the river with my son. And so, I would like love to continue to enjoy this beautiful space for many years.”

    – Ben S., Northwest Branch

    Create Eco-friendly Yards

    • Install rain barrels or cisterns.
    • Install a rain garden or other conservation landscaping.
    • Choose native, “Bay friendly”, plants when planting or, better yet, replace part of your traditional lawn with native plants, as they’re better adapted to local conditions.

    Change Lawn Care Habits

    • When possible leaves can be mulch mowed, and if they’re raked, it should not be into the streets and gutters.
    • Avoid fertilizers near gutters, storm drains or streams.
    • Do not fertilize before a rain.
    • Compost yard waste.

    Plant Trees

    • Planting trees on your home, school, faith congregation, or neighborhood park is one of the most effective ways to retain and properly treat stormwater run-off.
    • Trees provide shade in stream beds, which is needed to moderate water temperature. Water that is too hot has a negative impact on aquatic life.
    • Trees and vegetation along stream banks provide habitat and food for wildlife.

    Pick up Pet Waste

    • Some of the most serious pollutants in our streams are excess nutrients and bacteria from pet waste. This originates not only along the trails, but from the streets and sidewalks and even from your own backyard. Picking up after pets, whether in public or at home directly contributes to the health of our streams.

    Reduce Litter

    • Trash in the streets ends up in the streams and that Styrofoam cup can be lethal to wildlife, so dispose of your trash properly.
    • Recycle everything possible.

    And, If You Can Really Go Big!

    • Install a green roof.
    • Replace your paved, impermeable surface driveway with permeable pavers that allow rainwater to soak through.