Missouri Stream Team Reaches 3,000
projects they tackle. Program sponsors make it a priority to continually add new activity choices. The volunteers’ interests guide many of these activities. Water quality monitoring is a great example.
In the program’s early days, volunteers were clamoring to do more than pick up trash and write letters to their local officials. They wanted to take an active role in monitoring the stream miles they adopted. In 1993, water quality monitoring was added with supporting workshops, equipment and expertise.
Other activities that have been added include storm drain stenciling, adopt-an-access, photo point monitoring (using photographs to monitor and compare area conditions) and mentoring. Whether you like to get your hands dirty or not, there is something for everyone.
Stream Team volunteers have a variety of technical resources at their fingertips. The Stream Team Academy is the program’s “university without walls” and offers continuing education on natural resources. Workshops have been held on understanding streams, fish identification, crayfish, herpetology, mussels, hellbenders, tree planting and groundwater.
Our bimonthly newsletter, Channels, is full of information for and about Stream Teams. Occasional fact sheets are included that give background and information on stream-related topics. These resources make it possible for Stream Team volunteers to couple technical information with their passion for stream improvement and protection.
It’s not uncommon for these informed and educated Stream Team volunteers to become an integral part of the decision-making process in their watershed or community. They serve on task forces and boards, and they testify at hearings and council meetings. We can all be proud of the work they’re doing in the name of our stream resources.
Anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Networking is one of the greatest strengths of the Stream Team program.
Through our workshops and special events, members have the opportunity to connect with other groups in their watershed. It doesn’t take long for them to realize that by working together, goals that once seemed lofty now seem within range.
When Teams really get serious about joining forces, they form Stream Team Associations. Several successful Associations exist throughout the state. Some apply for not-for-profit status, making them eligible for grants and special funding. When two Teams put their heads together, they usually find that they have complementing specialties. Stream Team Associations are one of the best ways to make Stream Team