|The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy's Clear Creeks Project is a grant-funded, citizen-based initiative that helps answer a community desire to restore the water quality of the Middle River, Tidal Gunpowder, and Bird River watersheds. The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy's mission is to educate and mobilize people and resources to preserve and restore the lands and waterways of the Gunpowder watershed. To learn more, visit www.gunpowdervalleyconservancy.org|
How did it all begin?
In January 2013, a group of neighbors from Middle River and Tidal Gunpowder gathered at the fire hall in Wilson Point and were asked, “What would you like to see happen with your local rivers and creeks?”
Their answer was simple. What they most wanted to see . . . were their feet.
Long-time and newly-arrived residents could relate stories that they had either lived or heard told about past days when the local waterways were so clear that you could look down and watch fish swim and crabs molt. You could wade and wander through water so unclouded, you could literally see your toes. Community members wanted that degree of water clarity again for themselves, their children, and their children’s children.
And so, the Clear Creeks Project found its heart purpose and practical goal. Someone suggested the motto “See Your Feet in Our Creeks.” Someone else called out, “Make it feets.” The grins had it. And “See Your Feets in Our Creeks!” became the rallying cry of the grant-funded, community-based project: Clear Creeks: Our Water, Our Heritage, Our Pride.
Now it was time to join together and make it happen.
For the next two years, Middle River and Tidal Gunpowder residents got their hands dirty and their mud boots wet. They planted trees, adopted creeks, installed rain barrels, planted bay-friendly gardens, and proudly certified their properties Bay-Wise. They hosted workshops at their homes; invited Project reps to come talk to their community organizations; and even built a Clear Creeks float and won second place in the Wilson Point 4th of July parade.
In other words, they got things done. Then in 2015, the Project extended its reach into the neighboring Bird River watershed, and in the fall of 2015, funds were secured that will allow us to continue restoration efforts through 2017.
With love, laughter and a whole lot of shared determination, some 1,550 residents have been working to see more feets, taking small individual steps in order to make a big difference together.
These are the stories of who we are, what we are accomplishing, and how you can join us.