Creek Week 2021

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Creek Week is here! Celebrate throughout the week with fun and engaging activities for all ages. For over a decade Creek Week has offered educational events and volunteer creek cleanups. Creek Week coincides with the California Coastal Commission’s big Creek to Coast Cleanup Day. This event has now spread worldwide. For Creek Week, we invite you and your family to celebrate safely and explore your local creeks in new ways.

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Enter the Ours to Protect Raffle and Most Unusual Trash Item Contest

You know where trash lurks in your neighborhood that, with a few people, could be easily cleaned up. Volunteer as household groups in the Creek Week Cleanup Challenge.

Whether you live right next to a creek or a mile away, all our neighborhoods and streets have storm drains that flow into the closest creek. Complete this challenge to stop trash from entering our creeks through your neighborhood storm drains. We invite you to collect the trash AND information (data) about the trash you find.

Cleanups in neighborhoods, parks, along quiet streets, and along local creeks can be done safely with a pair of gloves and a bucket or trash bag. Use common sense. If it is too dangerous or icky – leave it and let us know. Go slow to find all the trash around and watch out for injection needles and other sharp objects such as nails, wire, and broken glass.

How to enter the Challenge

  1. Review and follow the household-led volunteer safety protocols to stop the spread of COVID-19.
  2. Investigate your neighborhood for the locations/route where you will clean up.
  3. Download and practice with the trash data collection app CleanSwell. * Apple | Google Play
  4. Gather your supplies: gloves and bag/bucket.** 
  5. Share Cleanup Challenge and safety information with your group .
  6. Complete your cleanup while being safe and having fun!
  7. Take pictures of your group, cleanup area, and/or the actual trash collected.
  8. On or before the last day of Creek Week (September 25), enter the Ours to Protect Raffle by emailing creeks@srcity.org pictures of your cleanup, the location, and number of volunteers.
  9. Also send a picture of the Most Unusual Trash Item you find. We will have a separate prize for the winner of this category. 

* Information collected by volunteers just like you has been used for years to better understand and address our community’s trash issues, like what items and materials types make up our local trash pollution. Choose the ‘Land’ type of clean-up in the app.

** Need trash pickers, gloves, bags, and/or full trash bag pickup? Find an injection needle or need other assistance? Let us know at creeks@srcity.org or 707-543-3845.

Ideally, you can dispose of trash in your household garbage. Let us know if other arrangements are needed. If something is too big, too heavy, too foul, or too hard to access, please let us know: creeks@srcity.org or 707-543-3845

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Click here for the Creek Week Cleanup Challenge video!

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Website_Creek Tour

In Santa Rosa there is always a creek nearby to enjoy. Let’s see what surprises our guides find as they explore a few of these creeks. Afterwards, set out on your own safari to find a creek. Creeks run through many parks. Creeks are next to schools. Creeks are crossed by streets more than 200 times. 35 miles of trails follow creeks. There are 20 footbridges over creeks. How many steps to your nearest creek?

Website _ Video IconClick here for a virtual tour of Santa Rosa's creeks!

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Fall is for Planting Webinar

Has your landscape gone brown during the drought?  Ready for something prettier and more drought tolerant? Fall is the time!

Learn how to take advantage of the coming rainy season to establish a healthy, water-wise landscape that you can enjoy for years to come.

Learn how to:

  • Retain the rain
  • Plan for deer & gophers
  • Bring soil back to life
  • Choose lawn alternatives

Tuesday, September 21 | 4:00-5:00 p.m. | Register

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Birds of a Feather Flock to our Creeks Webinar

Learn about common birds found along our Santa Rosa creeks. This webinar will cover identification and natural history notes with a highlight on migration.

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A Creek Runs Through It - Santa Rosa Creek and How It's Shaped the City

The Historical Society of Santa Rosa is proud to present A Creek Runs Through It - Santa Rosa Creek and How It's Shaped the City with the following presenters: 

STEVE BRADY - Senior Environmental Specialist Santa Rosa Water - Environmental Services - Storm Water & Creeks 

JEFF ELLIOTT - journalist who turned full-time to local historical research after retiring in 2009. He has since written over 750 articles that can be read at SantaRosaHistory.com. 

NICK TIPON - Board member of Point Blue Conservation Science. BILL TURNER -Member of HSSR Board of Directors

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Make Mountains to Make Creeks

Investigate the shape of the Earth and how water flows in a watershed by making a 3-D topographic map of your very own. Let’s create a raised-relief landscape out of a piece of paper and markers. Making a map like this builds understanding of how the shape of land creates the flow of water over its surface. With a spray bottle of water, participants can complete this activity by raining down on their maps (go outdoors or place in bathtub/shower) to watch how water really flows over your land maps. PDF Instructions

Website _ Video IconClick here for step by step video instructions!

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Nature Sit Spots

Spending time quietly in nature is good for our mind and body. This activity has participants pick an outdoor place and sit quietly on the ground, rock, or log and observe nature for at least 15 minutes. (Use a pad if you wish.) Participants use the Sit Spot journal to record observations and discover connections from the experience. Sitting still in nature takes practice and is a skill, try it today! PDF Instructions

Big Kids - English Journal | Spanish Journal

Little Kids - English Journal | Spanish Journal

Website _ Video IconClick here for step by step video instructions!

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Ours to Protect Sign 

We use the iconic “Ours To Protect” image to connect with the theme of “Ours To Protect”. This activity invites participants to find the Our to Protect closest to their home and explore both physically (taking a creek walk) and mentally “What are we protecting the creeks FROM? Who and what are we protecting the creek FOR?”. Engage in the creek art project to recreate the colorful sign or create your own version. 

Personalize your own creek sign and decorate!

Website _ Video IconClick here for step by step video instructions!

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Creek Protector Activity Book

Are you interested in learning more about our local creeks and watershed? This exciting series of Creek Protector activities will walk you through fun learning opportunities while exploring local creek trails. Discover local mammals, birds, and plants all while gaining an understanding of how our storm drains and creeks are connected. Download a PDF of the book, or take your phone to your local creek and complete the mobile version of the book. Receive a prize upon completion.


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Click here to download your Creek Protector Activity Book

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Good Natured Scavenger Hunt

The Scavenger Hunt will guide your family’s outdoor adventure while observing nature in your neighborhood and/or local creek. How many of these items can you find? Whether it’s signs left by wildlife, a heart-shaped rock, or something else on the hunt, you’ll be sure to find something “new” that you haven’t seen before!

Use the Good Natured Scavenger Hunt list to check off which items you find (and leave all the nature items right where they were found for nature to keep using).

Note: There are three different versions of this hunt so you can find the one that best matches your family. LONG version has the most categories and items to find and therefore the most challenging. SHORT version has fewer categories/items to find and can be done in a shorter amount of time. SEE and CIRCLE is designed for your youngest pre/new readers with a series of pictures to help guide the hunt.

Long Scavenger Hunt - English | Spanish

Short Scavenger Hunt - English | Spanish

Circle and See Scavenger Hunt - English | Spanish


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Website_Creek Critter_Pacific Tree Frog

Pacific Tree Frog (also know as the pacific chorus frog, Pseudacris regalia)

The smallest frog is the loudest croaker!  These thumb size cuties will gather in pools after the first rains and sing loudly into the night.  Pacific tree frogs can appear bright green to brownish earth tones but they are easily identified as our only local frog species with a stripe through the eye. For more information on local critters and ways to prevent pollution in our creeks, visit: srcity.org/CreekStewardship

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What Creeks have You Explored?

100 miles of creeks flow through Santa Rosa. Look for the “Ours to Protect” creek identification signs to discover creeks throughout the city. Find the creeks in your neighborhood, 35 miles of creek trails, and more information in the Creek Trails of Santa Rosa Map and Guide.

Creek Trails of Santa Rosa Map and Guide - English | Spanish