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Living Arroyos & Adopt a Creek Spot Programs Receive Statewide Recognition

Two Tri-Valley volunteer programs have received statewide recognition for their work to enhance and restore local creeks. This week the Tri-Valley Adopt a Creek Spot and Living Arroyos programs were presented with the Outstanding Sustainable Stormwater Program Award from the California Stormwater Quality Association (CASQA). Through these two programs, thousands of Tri-Valley volunteers have picked up over 45,000 gallons of litter and planted nearly 7,000 California-native plant species near local waterways.

The Tri-Valley Adopt a Creek Spot program was founded in 2012 by the City of Livermore Water Resources Division. Through this program, local families, businesses, and community organizations make minimum one-year commitments to pick up litter at their adopted creek section. However, many adopters go above and beyond litter clean-ups, volunteering to complete additional projects at their creek sites such as removing graffiti and marking storm drains.

The program manages 13 adopted creek sections along Arroyo Las Positas, Arroyo Seco, Arroyo Mocho, and Altamont Creek in Livermore and St. Mary’s Creek and Arroyo del Valle in Pleasanton. These sections are currently adopted by Saundra Lorimand, Laura Cornett, the Henry Family, Dave Lunn (Friends of the Arroyos), June Wong, Steve Bonham, Las Positas College Spanish Club, Eaton Corporation, Sunrise Mountain Sports, North Livermore Community Alliance, Unitarian Universalist Church of Livermore, DHL, Vericool Packaging, Alden Lane Nursery, Las Positas Golf Course, and the Tri-Valley Fly Fishers.

The Living Arroyos program was founded a year later in 2013 and is now a multi-agency collaboration between the City of Livermore, Livermore Area Park and Recreation District (LARPD), the City of Pleasanton, and Zone 7 Water Agency. While the Adopt a Creek Spot program’s focus is on litter clean-ups, Living Arroyo’s focus is on activities that enhance local streams, including riparian restoration work. The program’s Saturday volunteer workdays allow residents to assist with restoring creek banks with native vegetation while learning about local ecology. The program also employs college students and young professionals as interns, allowing them to learn stream management techniques hands-on to augment their classroom learning.

“It is an honor to be recognized by CASQA for the work we are doing in the Livermore-Amador Valley. What makes our programs stand out is the level of community engagement in the stewardship of our natural resources. Whether it is through our public volunteer events or our internship program, we are providing avenues for people to learn about and get involved in improving their watershed. I am proud of what we have accomplished in the past eight years and the community that has grown up around this work,” explains Joseph Steelman, who serves as the coordinator for both programs.

Most volunteer activities for these programs are currently on hold due to COVID-19. However, those who are interested in joining either program are encouraged to email info@livingarroyos.org now to be added to an interest list. To learn more about the programs, visit their websites – www.livingarroyos.org and www.trivalleycreeks.org.