Adopt-A-Stream Program

Mission & Goals

The Adopt-A-Stream program serves to enhance the quality of our local waterways through citizen action and education. The program aims to reduce the amount of trash in and along our waterways, increase citizen awareness of water quality issues, and train citizens on how to monitor stream health.

Any organization, company, or group can volunteer to adopt a creek or section of a stream in which they will conduct at least two stream clean-ups per year. The participants will pick up and remove litter in and around the creek at least once every six months. During the clean-ups, volunteers will fill trash bags with litter and place them on the shoulder of a nearby roadway for the City crews to remove the following day. Additionally, participants will perform a visual stream assessment at each stream clean-up. The first year (two clean-ups) is a trial period, after which the participants may choose to officially adopt the stream segment, receiving recognition for their work in the form of t-shirts, a certificate of appreciation, and a sign, contingent upon the group continuing to conduct at least two cleanups per year, with additional add-on activities possible.

How the City Supports Adopt-A-Stream Participants

The City of Oak Ridge will provide safety and stream assessment training for each volunteer group's Coordinator and Co-Coordinator. The City will also provide trash bags, gloves, safety vests, and warning signs for the groups to use during each clean-up event.

How Participants are Recognized

Participation allows the organizations to publicly demonstrate their concern and dedication to clean, healthy water. Upon completion of the first year of commitment, the City will present participants with a Certificate of Appreciation. If the participants choose to officially adopt their stream, this dedication could also be recognized with an official Adopt-A-Stream sign highlighting the organization's name. The sign will be erected on the roadside next to the stream after the second stream clean-up if your organization is committed to continuing cleanups at that site. Participants in the clean-ups can also receive a t-shirt in recognition of their efforts.