Here is a story about how one person is making a little difference for his community one tiny creek at a time. Backyard Creeks is an aspiring, new, open- source, non-profit company whose motto is “think Little.”. Backyard Creeks works with little groups to host volunteer stewardship events for little creeks and waterways that are mostly unnamed, unmapped and undiscovered.

A great example is Sunny Point on Trickle Run. This little creek is only about 10 yards long in an undeveloped area near a WalMart and Sam’s Club. The creek is in a little fenced in area with mature trees surrounded by a retaining wall. Backyard Creeks founder, Mike Schlegel (also known as Head Chief Muddy Waters) discovered this little creek through his friend, David, who lives homeless by choice not far from this place. Mike says David is the most content person he has ever met. Mike makes a ritual of checking up on David regularly and was delighted to learn that David took it upon himself to start cleaning the little creek. David’s thought was, “I don’t have to do the whole thing, but I CAN do a little bit.”

Before he knew it, David had filled two shopping bags with trash that had blown or washed into the creek. The next day, David did the same thing, and collected two more bag. Day-by-day, David was seeing a little improvement, and he started feeling better and better about himself. Within a week, David had collected 12 shopping bags of trash from the little creek, finishing strong with five bags on the last day. As of today, this creek is clean! And David has been inspired to start collecting litter on the adjacent fields (future development lots). He sets a little goal for himself each day, and little bit-by-little bit, he’s on a roll and feeling more empowered. Mike said he looks 10 years younger then only a few weeks ago.

David’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. A friend of Mike’s donated a trash grabber stick and a pair of work gloves for David, and Mike is hoping that others will donate supplies and money by visiting his Action Page on Creeklife. You can visit the page Here.


Backyard Creeks is starting small, going slow and already seeing a little difference. They are not trying to save the world, they are just on a #littlemission to leave each place just a little better than they found it. As Mike says, “There is always something little you can do today.” Mike’s is building his business on, which he describes as “the premier crowd-funding platform for outdoor and environmental projects.” Backyard Creeks is planting the flag in lots of special little places, and creating call-to-actions on Creeklife to fund the good work of cleaning up our little creeks.

Check out these four Backyard Creeks Actions on including Backyard Creeks, Wakefield Branch, Round Brook on Club Creek, and the Sunny Point on Trickle Run. Please check out these #littlestories and offer any help or advice you can give to Mike and Backyard Creeks as they set off to care for little creeks and waterways.


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