Our CreekCare program works with people who own or manage streamside property in the Johnson Creek Watershed, providing contract crews to control invasive plants and replace them with native trees and shrubs, in order to reduce stream temperatures through shading and to improve habitat for fish and wildlife.

Since the program began in 2010, CreekCare has planted over 100,000 trees and shrubs on more than 50 acres, covering more than 5.5 stream miles! Each winter, we plant 10,000-15,000 new stems.

Who is eligible?

Owners and managers of land adjacent to or containing streams in the Johnson Creek Watershed (main stem or tributary streams) are eligible. Our priority is to work with properties with little or no vegetative cover on the stream, particularly those in the upper watershed/headwaters areas. Grant funding allows us to provide these services at no cost to the landowner–you’ve already paid for this work with your taxes!

What’s the process?

  1. Site visit – Our Riparian Program Manager will come out for an initial site visit to your property, to assess what actions would most help water quality and wildlife habitat, and discuss options with you, the landowner–we don’t do anything you don’t want us to!
  2. Agreement – If you are willing to participate in the program, we’ll ask you to sign a cooperative agreement (basically, “we’ll do the work, and you’ll let us”–no fancy legalese).
  3. Site prep – We’ll then make arrangements for a contract crew to begin site preparation (weed control, etc.). We’ll always give you as much notice as we can when a crew will come out, and can schedule them to suit your needs. Crews typically use a combination of manual, mechanical, and/or chemical weed control; we’re happy to leave out that last one if you prefer not to have herbicides used on your property.
  4. Planting – Once the project area is ready for planting, we’ll have crews out during the winter months (usually January to March) to install native plants along the stream (again, paid for through grant funds–no cost to the landowner).
  5. Maintenance – Depending on continued funding and how tenacious the weeds are, crews will continue to maintain the area after planting for 3-5 years, long enough for the plantings to be able to make it on their own. After that, we’re still a phone call away if you need help keeping weeds down in the planting area.

How do I get started?

Contact Noah Jenkins, Riparian Program Manager: [email protected].