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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Adopt-A-Stream Program

In the past year, our wonderful volunteers completed 129 stream clean-ups - removing more than nine tons of trash from local waterways. THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS!

 Volunteers at Adopt-A-Stream pick up bags of trash from the creek


Trash collected at Adopt-A-Stream 

By adopting a section of stream you are improving one of Charlotte-Mecklenburg's greatest natural resources – our creeks and streams. Every day litter enters our streams via storm drains and illegal dumping.

With over 2000 miles of streams, volunteers are needed to assist cleaning up this unsightly litter and report water pollution problems. One of the best ways to find problems is to get into the stream and walk the channel.

To start the process read carefully through the information below.

Selecting a Stream Segment 

  • Search for available stream segments 
    • Search by address or stream name
    • If you encounter problems with the map email Deania Russo.
  • Visit the stream to see if the stream is accessible, has a trash problem and isn’t too deep
  • Once a stream is chosen email the code to Deania Russo.   
  • A contract will be emailed to you to finalize the adoption

Program Basics 

  • Groups are required to sign up for a minimum 2 year commitment to the program.
  • Groups are required to complete a minimum of 2 clean-ups a year.
  • Group size is best when kept at 15 or less volunteers.
  • Groups receive road sign after second clean-up and return of data sheet.
  • Groups must schedule clean-ups with the volunteer coordinator and if needed, reserve supplies.
  • Groups are provided with hip waders, and litter grabbers (limited numbers), gloves, and trash bags.

Safety Information
Participation Waiver 
Youth Participation Waiver
Field Data Sheet 
Complete the online field data sheet 

Things to Note 

  • 10 is the maximum number of hip waders and grabbers available to each group at one time, if available.
  • April, May, September and October are the busiest months for clean-ups – schedule early if you want supplies!
  • Remember to watch the weather. Streams rise rapidly and can quickly become unsafe. Check real time stream information before you head out to clean-up.
  • Trash must be left at the road/sidewalk in order for it to be picked up and EXACT location must be noted on data sheet.
  • The name of the group on the contract will be what is put on the road sign. No websites or phone numbers are allowed.

For more information, please contact:

Deania Russo
Environmental Specialist