Some people look at creek walking as a fun form of exercise. Others look to a walk on the local creek as chance to meditate on nature, or maybe draw inspiration for some artistic work. Still others walk along their favorite creeks with a critical eye, watching for places where humans have scarred or polluted them. Your community is made of a mix of all these people. With a little effort, you can make creek walking a tradition valued by all your community members.
John Flannery captioned the above photo, “Walking the creeks of North Carolina is a favourite pastime during the hot summer. It is cool and refreshing and a lot of fun. We hunt for bugs and water creatures and build dams. Some of the braver ones do a little swimming.”
Obscurity is one of the greatest threats faced by the habitats along the creeks. It is difficult to stand by as a treasured resource is plundered or polluted. It is easy, however, to turn a blind eye toward environmental damage in a place you regard as an afterthought. If your community does not value its creeks, then it will have little incentive to conserve their environment. The simple pleasure of creek walking presents us with an opportunity to get your community to embrace its creeks as the precious resource that they are.
Encouraging people to creek walk must go a little deeper than telling them it’s great to walk along creeks. Make the creek the center of fun things that bring your community together. Don’t be afraid to bribe your neighbors with breakfast if they’ll come along to the First Annual Weaver Creek Breakfast Boogie! After a chance to have fun and enjoy the natural beauty right in their neighborhood, some of them will be more willing to join you again for a creek cleanup, like this one that is ironically situated on the Chagrin River. Making the creek walk a tradition in your neighborhood will bring people together–and together, you can work to clean up the creeks in your community.
Photo by andyp89 (deviantART).
Walking along a creek is a uniquely rewarding experience for anyone with their eyes open. Whether you want to exercise, learn about nature, be inspired, or simply get together with friends, the creek walk has something to offer every kind of person. Organizing creek walks in your community is not only a fun activity, but also a way to raise awareness about the environmental protection needs of your neighborhood’s creeks and encourage people to take care of them.
Creeklife is happy to offer everybody a free tool to organize creek walks, clean-ups, and other fundraisers to help you protect the environment. Whether you’re working to protect a small stream or a big river, our site lets you organize and crowdfund your project.
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Posted by Mark Contorno.