Preserving DuPage County rivers and streams is a task requiring cooperation and participation from government, industry and residents alike. The DuPage County Adopt-A-Stream program supports the belief that everyone can make a difference in the aquatic habitats and general appeal of the County’s waterways. The program allows for local businesses, schools, churches, student groups, organizations, watershed associations and volunteer groups to do their part in restoring and maintaining local streams.
The Adopt-A-Stream program aims to reduce debris polluting and clogging our waterways through citizen-stewardship of the County’s water resources. Waterway cleanup projects are valuable learning experiences by establishing a connection between citizens and the stream that runs through their community. Citizens will see firsthand the impacts of their cleanup efforts on the condition of the stream and quality of the water. DuPage County also empowers citizens to participate in other activities aimed at improving water quality throughout the County, including water quality monitoring and restoration projects—such as planting native vegetation along waterways.
Groups may become involved with Adopt-A-Stream with varying levels of participation, often influenced by a group’s size, resources or mission. DuPage County asks groups who wish to Adopt-A-River to commit to that section of stream for two years and engage in two stream cleanups each year. However, groups may choose to go beyond the minimum requirements by regularly monitoring water quality, recording illicit discharge or engaging in stream bank enhancement projects. Groups who cannot fulfill the minimum requirements, but would still like to be involved, may choose to participate in a one-time volunteer activity.
Groups may select a portion of stream to maintain with semi-annual stream cleanups to reduce debris polluting and clogging DuPage County waterways. DuPage County Stormwater Management staff will assist groups in the process by offering site suggestions, educating group members on water quality and providing trash bags and collection for stream cleanups. The County will also publicly recognize groups for their ongoing involvement in the Adopt-A-Stream program.
Working together to improve DuPage County waterways will improve aquatic habitats, water quality and aesthetics. In some cases, improvement in water flow resulting from cleared out waterways may even reduce the potential for localized flooding.
To get started, please review this Adopt-A-Stream Packet (PDF).