Baby Streamkeeper

Julie Slavet
Jul 25, 2019


This guest blog is by Debra Kessler, a new Streamkeeper and volunteer!

One day of high winds and heavy rain removed the 2 foot drop to my assigned StreamKeeper location!  I’m a newbie TTF Streamkeeper volunteer.  Just 2 months old – born this summer.

The path to my assigned observation point is through a grassy field, under a small tree canopy and down a 2 foot drop over tree roots to the stream bed. At least that’s how it was one month after and at my orientation with Ryan Neuman, TTF’s Upstream Conservation Leader.

One windy 3” rain eroded the path – creating an easy slope to the stream bed. In just 2 months following that rain, fallen tree trunks that blocked my path were gone. The previous leaf packs were gone as was some riparian growth.

My StreamKeeper “job” is to observe and note approximately 15 items, take photographs and water temperature and report information along with anything additional observed TTF.

The 15-point observation takes less than 20 minutes, but I stay an hour longer. I stay to develop a relationship with “my” spot. I study the nooks and crannies of the banks, the rocks, the tree canopy, the fish, insects, birds and watch the water’s flow.

An easy requirement to being a TTF StreamKeeper is to give an additional 2 hours per month of volunteer time. Drain marking, cleaning litter from my neighborhood streets, joining any one of the many TTF events (e.g. clearing invasive plant species, native barrier planting, joining guided tours armed with a trash bag and picker) can quickly add up to 2 hours.

Unexpected benefits have been 2 training sessions and field trips. And while I have some knowledge about forests, farms, lakes, streams, beneficial insects, composting, and other details of biological environmental interaction, the training sessions provided me secrets of nature and biological details from Master-level educators and other long-time volunteers.

So…I hope to meet you at a TTF event either in Philadelphia, Cheltenham or Abington.  Bring whatever level expertise you have.

PS – By the way, my StreamKeeper backpack includes a few trash bags and rubber gloves so I can pull any litter from the stream and area I walk by – ending my delightful hour in nature with a full sense of accomplishment!

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