Stream Cleanups

cleanupTrash such as Styrofoam, plastic bottles, and grocery bags is commonly caught on streambanks. Organized stream clean-ups help to reduce the amount of trash in streams and prevent it from continuing downstream. The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy conducts two major stream clean-ups per year and many smaller clean-ups. Groups of friends, families, service-hour students, and waterway stewards gather together at various sites across the Gunpowder watershed to pitch in and remove trash at their favorite stretch of creek or stream.

With the help of 10,000 volunteers, the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy has removed 196 tons of trash from streams and creeks in the Gunpowder watershed.

We need your help to continue making our waterways beautiful and accessible for recreational use.  Please join us in this important effort.

View our Calendar of Events to learn about clean-up events.


The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy’s Adopt-a-Stream program empowers community members to protect local streams and rivers through water quality monitoring. Volunteer leaders, called Stream Captains, are assigned sites along a section of stream, given equipment and trained to regularly collect information on streambank habitat, pollution levels, and water quality. This information helps to inform restoration activities that improve overall watershed health.  Stream Captains agree to clean their assigned stream two times a year in spring and fall.

Become an Adopt-a-Stream volunteer and help your community make informed decisions about our waterways.

Would you like to sign up for an Adopt-a-Stream training workshop?  Click here to view our Calendar of Events.

To determine if an Adopt-a-Stream Training Workshop can be performed in your area, contact Gunpowder Valley Conservancy Program Director, Peggy Perry.


“It’s not something we have to wait for the county or state to handle. We can do something on our own.”
- Dan Doerfer, one of 72 volunteers who removed 4.5 tons of trash from Middle River Headwaters in 2013