Creek Week 2020

Webiste_Creek Week2

Creek Week is here! Celebrate throughout the week with fun and engaging activities for all ages. For over a decade Creek Week has offered educational events and volunteer creek cleanups. Creek Week coincides with the California Coastal Commission’s big Creek to Coast Cleanup Day. This event has now spread worldwide. For Creek Week, we invite you and your family to celebrate safely and explore your local creeks in new ways.

To learn more about Santa Rosa's Creek Stewardship Program and opportunities to celebrate Creek Week all year long, visit:

Website_Cleanup Challenge

Enter the Ours to Protect Raffle and Most Unusual Trash Item Contest

You know where trash lurks in your neighborhood that, with a few people, could be easily cleaned up. Volunteer as household groups in the Streets to Creeks Cleanup Challenge.

Whether you live right next to a creek or a mile away, all our neighborhoods and streets have storm drains that flow into the closest creek. Complete this challenge to stop trash from entering our creeks through your neighborhood storm drains. We invite you to collect the trash AND information (data) about the trash you find.

Cleanups in neighborhoods, parks, along quiet streets, and along local creeks can be done safely with a pair of gloves and a bucket or trash bag. Use common sense. If it is too dangerous or icky – leave it and let us know. Go slow to find all the trash around and watch out for injection needles and other sharp objects such as nails, wire, and broken glass.

How to enter the Challenge

  1. Review and follow the household-led volunteer safety protocols to stop the spread of COVID-19.
  2. Investigate your neighborhood for the locations/route where you will clean up.
  3. Download and practice with the trash data collection app CleanSwell. * Apple | Google Play
  4. Gather your supplies: gloves and bag/bucket.** 
  5. Share Cleanup Challenge and safety information with your group .
  6. Complete your cleanup while being safe and having fun!
  7. Take pictures of your group, cleanup area, and/or the actual trash collected.
  8. On or before the last day of Creek Week (September 27), enter the Ours to Protect Raffle by emailing pictures of your cleanup, the location, and number of volunteers.
  9. Also send a picture of the Most Unusual Trash Item you find. We will have a separate prize for the winner of this category. 

PDF Instructions

* Information collected by volunteers just like you has been used for years to better understand and address our community’s trash issues, like what items and materials types make up our local trash pollution. Choose the ‘Land’ type of clean-up in the app.

** Need trash pickers, gloves, bags, and/or full trash bag pickup? Find an injection needle or need other assistance? Let us know at or 707-543-3845.

Ideally, you can dispose of trash in your household garbage. Let us know if other arrangements are needed. If something is too big, too heavy, too foul, or too hard to access, please let us know: or 707-543-3845

Website _ Video Icon

Click here for the Creek to Coast Cleanup Challenge video!

Website_Creek Tour

In Santa Rosa there is always a creek nearby to enjoy. Let’s see what surprises our guides find as they explore a few of these creeks. Afterwards, set out on your own safari to find a creek. Creeks run through many parks. Creeks are next to schools. Creeks are crossed by streets more than 200 times. 35 miles of trails follow creeks. There are 20 footbridges over creeks. How many steps to your nearest creek?

Website _ Video IconClick here for a virtual tour of Santa Rosa's creeks!

Website_Creek Week Webinar

Webinar Recording Now Available! 

Birds of a Feather Flock to our Creeks Webinar

Learn about common birds found along our Santa Rosa creeks. This webinar will cover identification and natural history notes with a highlight on migration.

Click here to watch the 9/23/20 Birds of a Feather Flock to our Creeks Webinar.

Passcode: t+pR97r1

Website_Kids Creek Week

Make Mountains to Make Creeks

Investigate the shape of the Earth and how water flows in a watershed by making a 3-D topographic map of your very own. Let’s create a raised-relief landscape out of a piece of paper and markers. Making a map like this builds understanding of how the shape of land creates the flow of water over its surface. With a spray bottle of water, participants can complete this activity by raining down on their maps (go outdoors or place in bathtub/shower) to watch how water really flows over your land maps. PDF Instructions

Website _ Video IconClick here for step by step video instructions!


Nature Sit Spots

Spending time quietly in nature is good for our mind and body. This activity has participants pick an outdoor place and sit quietly on the ground, rock, or log and observe nature for at least 15 minutes. (Use a pad if you wish.) Participants use the Sit Spot journal to record observations and discover connections from the experience. Sitting still in nature takes practice and is a skill, try it today! PDF Instructions

Big Kids - English Journal | Spanish Journal

Little Kids - English Journal | Spanish Journal

Website _ Video IconClick here for step by step video instructions!


Personalize Your Own Ours to Protect Creek Sign

We use the iconic “Ours To Protect” image to connect with the theme of “Ours To Protect”. This activity invites participants to find the Our to Protect closest to their home and explore both physically (taking a creek walk) and mentally “What are we protecting the creeks FROM? Who and what are we protecting the creek FOR?”.  

Personalize your own Ours to Protect creek sign by clicking on the “Your Name” Creek box and writing in the name of your neighborhood creek or a creek name of your choosing. Decorate your sign with these creek images and other fun items you find.

Ours to Protect Creek Sign | Creek Sign Decorations

Website _ Video IconClick here for step by step video instructions!


California Coastal Commission Art and Poetry Contest

We can't wait to see your creativity! Here's what you do:

  1. Read the Contest Guidelines
  2. Create your art or poetry
  3. Learn How to Enter the contest
  4. Complete the Entry Form and upload your work.

Other things you can do:

  • Download contest flyer and guidelines in ENGLISH or SPANISH
  • Check out some Teacher Resources, including brainstorming prompts and Common Core connections
  • Sign up for the contest mailing list
  • If you're unable to upload your entry and complete the online entry form, find out how to enter by mail.

Winners and honorable mentions will be contacted directly and announced to the public (via email and website) before the end of March.


Good Natured Scavenger Hunt

The Scavenger Hunt will guide your family’s outdoor adventure while observing nature in your neighborhood and/or local creek. How many of these items can you find? Whether it’s signs left by wildlife, a heart-shaped rock, or something else on the hunt, you’ll be sure to find something “new” that you haven’t seen before!

Use the Good Natured Scavenger Hunt list to check off which items you find (and leave all the nature items right where they were found for nature to keep using).

Note: There are three different versions of this hunt so you can find the one that best matches your family. LONG version has the most categories and items to find and therefore the most challenging. SHORT version has fewer categories/items to find and can be done in a shorter amount of time. SEE and CIRCLE is designed for your youngest pre/new readers with a series of pictures to help guide the hunt.

Long Scavenger Hunt - English | Spanish

Short Scavenger Hunt - English | Spanish

Circle and See Scavenger Hunt - English | Spanish

Website_Creek Critter_Bushtits

Bushtits are thumb-sized birds often travel move along our creeks in large groups. Watch for them in trees and shrubs, moving through the branches, often hanging upside down, as they glean insects. The gender of these birds can be identified because the female has a light eye compared to the male’s dark eye. See if you can spot one of these tiny birds this week while taking a walk in your neighborhood! 

For more information on local critters and ways to prevent pollution in our creeks, visit:

Website_Creek Trails Map

What Creeks have You Explored?

100 miles of creeks flow through Santa Rosa. Look for the “Ours to Protect” creek identification signs to discover creeks throughout the city. Find the creeks in your neighborhood, 35 miles of creek trails, and more information in the Creek Trails of Santa Rosa Map and Guide.

Creek Trails of Santa Rosa Map and Guide - English | Spanish

Send your mailing address to to receive a printed copy of the map and the Russian River Urban Creek Care Guide.