Outdoor Journal

Caring for creeks: RiverLink needs your help to clean up waterways in the French Broad watershed. If you know a river section, creek, stream or tributary that needs TLC and/or litter pickup, give them a call at 252-8474, ext. 118 or 110.

You can also pitch in by pledging to do two cleanups a year. When you do, RiverLink will erect a sign with your name or the name of your family, neighborhood, business or club to let everyone know you adopted the waterway. RiverLink will provide, bags, gloves and pickup sticks—all the equipment you and your Adopt-a-Stream team will need.

For more details, visit www.riverlink.org or call volunteer coordinator Rachel Doebber at 252-8474.

Wet science: On Sunday, Oct. 26, you can spend a cool autumn day outside and become a citizen scientist at the same time. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Stream Monitoring Information Exchange—a collaboration of several area nonprofits and government agencies, coordinated by the Clean Water Fund of N.C.—will host a training workshop for volunteer stream monitors.

The morning will be spent at UNCA, where participants will gain background information and learn bug-ID skills (using scopes and things). After the lunch break (12:30 to 1:30 p.m., meal provided), the afternoon will be spent performing biological sampling, bug-ID work and data collecting. Attendees can earn seven hours towards Criteria III for North Carolina’s Environmental Education Certification Program.

Experienced volunteers will assist each group, and a paid technician will provide oversight for quality-assurance purposes. This valuable training opportunity is open to anyone interested (ages 17 and up). Once trained, volunteers are asked to commit to sampling a minimum of two sites, two times per year (it takes two to three hours for a group to sample one site).

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About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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