Show your love for Orange County’s waterways during the first-ever Orange County Creek Week, set for March 12-19. The inaugural event is part of the Clean Water and Education Partnership’s (CWEP) second annual Regional Creek Week. This year’s theme is “Water Connects Us.” The initiative will engage the public on the importance of clean and healthy waterways.
“Over the years, we’ve watched as our neighbors in Durham County put on engaging, successful Creek Weeks,” said Sammy Bauer, community education coordinator with Town of Chapel Hill Division of Stormwater Management. “Orange County is excited to join the fun – we've spent several months collaborating with our partners to figure out the best way to celebrate our waterways and promote clean, healthy creeks.”
A variety of virtual and in-person events will educate residents about the importance of taking care of Orange County’s waterways. Throughout the week, participants will have a chance to join trash clean-ups, community science activities, a virtual 5k and more. Events will be held across the county.
Orange County’s Creek Week webpage outlines resources and events to get involved.
How to join the Stormwater Runoff 5k
This virtual competition encourages participants to walk, run or swim five kilometers (3.2 miles) along a waterway near you during Creek Week. We are using Strava to track submissions. Please register here and create a free Strava account if you don’t already have one.
Need help finding a route? Look for yard signs marking routes along Bolin Creek Greenway and Fan Branch Trail during Creek Week
Bonus: during your walk/run, you may also choose to collect any litter you see along the way.
How to join CWEP’s Regional Creek Week BioThon
Want to learn the names of the plants and critters in Orange County? CWEP is hosting a Regional BioThon throughout Creek Week. Discover how water connects us all by documenting the plant and animal species you see through the iNaturalist app. Join our project here.
New to iNaturalist? Check out CWEP's Tips for New iNaturalist Users.
How to join the countywide cleanup
Joining the challenge is easy—just follow these steps:
- Read the "Stay Safe" tips
- Pick a stream or area with trash and clean it up
- Take pictures
Participants are encouraged to complete the Litter Cleanup Data Sheet on Survey123. The data sheet will be open to the public from March 13 to April 17. Prizes include reusable straws, cloth grocery bags, water bottles and more!
Litter in a stream does not always start at the streambank, but it will end up there. If it is on the ground, chances are that it will end up in our local streams and creeks. Cleaning up trash around your neighborhood or business protects our local waterways from pollution.
All trash should be bagged and put into your trashcan. If you have more trash than will fit in your trashcan, take it to one of the Orange County Waste and Recycling Centers:
- 1514 Eubanks Road in Chapel Hill
- 1616 Ferguson Road in Chapel Hill
- 3605 Walnut Grove Church Road in Hillsborough
- 6705 Bradshaw Quarry Road in Mebane
- 7001 High Rock Road in Efland
Learn more about Creek Week at https://nc-cleanwater.com/regional-creek-week/
Learn more about the second Annual Creek Cleanup at http://bit.ly/JointCleanup.
Orange County Creek Week is made possible by Orange County Department of Environment, Agriculture & Parks & Recreation (DEAPR); Orange Water and Sewer Authority; the towns of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Hillsborough; UNC Energy Services; UNC Environment, Health and Safety; UNC Institute for the Environment; and Sustainable Carolina.