In Touch with Our Creek


Citizen Science - Stream Monitoring

Learn how to monitor the Sparkill Creek using methods and study designs consistent with Riverkeeper’s Hudson River and Community Science programs. Monitoring includes data collecting for:

Stream Life

  • Enterococcus (possible evidence of sewage in the water). This sampling program is in Partnership with the Hudson Riverkeeper Organization.

  • Macroinverterbrate (Each different community of critters who live in the stream under the rocks tells us about the health of the water)

Chemistry of water - Members conduct chemical monitoring in partnership with the County Citizen Science Program measuring nitrates, phosphates, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity and temperature. 

Physical state of the creek - Assessment of creek bed, stream banks and surroundings.


Community Education & Outreach

SCWA’s community outreach commitment means you will find us educating people at local libraries, street fairs and other community gatherings.

  • Creek Clean Ups - Join a Creek Clean-up. We organize two Creek Clean-ups a year between the months of May through October. Contact us for more info.

  • Water Sampling is a great way to participate in monitoring the health of our creek. 16 sampling sites have been identified. 5 teams meet once per month from May thru October to cover these 16 sites.

    • Our Sampling Partners include: Riverkeeper, EPA, St. Thomas Aquinas College, Dominican College, Rutgers University , Rockland County Soil & Water District.


Eels - Giving the Baby Eels a Chance

The upstream trip on Sparkill Creek, which winds through western Orangetown to the Piermont Marsh, is a more challenging climb than most for little eels. The Hudson Estuary Program has installed an “eel ladder” for them in the creek. It’s made of plain old PVC pipe, with netting inside to help the eels get a grip and get over a dam. They’ll emerge into a bucket to be counted, recorded, gently transported upstream and released.

Sparkill Creek Volunteers can help to:

  • Count

  • Weigh

  • Record

  • Release

Read more about that here. 


Trees for Tribs

Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs (tribs as in tributaries) program engages volunteers in restoring thousands of feet of streamside buffer through native trees and shrub planting. The program offers land owners with free native trees and shrubs for qualifying riparian buffer planting/restoration projects. Trees for Tribs staff may also be able to assist with plant selection, designing a planting plan, and other technical support to improve the odds of success for projects.

Riparian (streamside) buffers are a major component to maintaining healthy streams and waters and their conservation is a critical element of any holistic watershed program. Riparian areas are often severely damaged during the land development process, leading to unintended negative impacts to our streams and rivers. Composed of trees, shrubs and grasses, these buffers help to reduce pollution entering waterways by slowing down and filtering runoff, thus extending retention time and improving water quality. Buffers also help to reduce flooding and erosion by stabilizing shorelines and absorbing high velocity flows. In addition, they serve an important role for wildlife as a shoreline transition zone and travel corridor, not to mention increasing overall biodiversity and improving in-stream health. 

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Lawn Care Tips

Don’t leave lawn care until spring?  Fall is the best time of year to commune with your lawn  especially as healthy lawns help area lakes and streams. Thick grass helps prevent soil erosion and absorbs rainwater. By soaking up rainwater, lawns can decrease the amount of storm water runoff that funnels pollutants into drinking water that supplies, lakes and streams. Our friends at Organic Lawn Care have provided us these Fall Lawn Care Tips

Here’s how to recycle your yard waste: 

Our friends at Cornell Cooperative Extension have released their tips on backyard composting, best practices in mulching and what to do if you must rake and bag leaves. Visit Cornell Cooperative Extension  for much more information. 

Click here to read our 2019 SCWA Biennial Report on two years worth of accomplishments under the leadership of Larry Vail, our recent Chairperson.