Creeeeeeeek….here we go again…
A chill is in the air, frost dresses the ground with a crystal white blanket handwoven by Old Man Winter himself, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is fast approaching, and ultimately, we prepare ourselves to wave goodbye to the old year while embracing the new.
The New Year…..so many thoughts and feelings invoked by just the idea of it. A new me, a new chance, a new experience beyond the limited confines of this past year, which let’s be honest, never let us fully stretch our wings to become the person we truly are, right? This year will be different! Can’t you feel it?!
And yet, as you kick your feet up and slip away into a daydream of actually spotting a river otter this year in your local creek, the clock strikes on the midnight hour, and all the common distractions begin to flood your mind once again.
What changes will I make? What am I going to do differently? How can I better myself? How can I be better for others? How can I do this the entire year? I mean let’s be honest, it’s stressful being a better person, right?
River otter in Santa Rosa Creek, June 23, 2020
But please, this year of all other years, don’t even worry about it. Don’t even sweat! Don’t even waste an ounce of stress on this decision. And tell others not to worry as well. Because Streets to Creeks has your back. There’s a way to exercise, make a difference locally, and quantify your success all in one simple resolution. It is an innovative and new idea for your New Year’s Resolution. Something that is impactful, meaningful, and purposeful … it is from Streets to Creeks, and it is called Action Tracker!
That’s right! Its already sitting here just waiting for you to take the wheel and create a campaign to better our world, our waterways, our wildlife, and you. Action Tracker is a way for you to set a goal and tell your story on how you made this world a better place this year. Many hands make light work and simple actions have great impacts towards protecting our local community waterways, creeks, and river. Action Trackers protect their local creeks from streets. Set a goal and tell the story of your motivation to protect our creeks. Invite friends, classmates, neighbors, or any like-minded individuals to track their actions to meet your goal, together. Where will you focus your positive changes? Currently there are three simple activities to select from that will help you track your success related to preventing litter, car washing rinse water, or pet waste (even backyards have drains that lead to our creeks) from being transported into our fishable, swimmable, and drinkable local waterways.
Inspire others, raise social awareness, or decide to get motivated and encouraged by other’s campaigns. You can do this individually, organize your neighborhood, inspire your local club or organization (think Rotary Club, Girl Scouts, Chess Club), or even challenge your local business leaders and join in their efforts to lead by example. Just go to www.streetstocreeks.org and click the Action Tracker link to get started!
So don’t worry about your New Year’s resolution this year. Your Action Tracker Campaign tabulates all efforts and provides you with valuable insight into how your actions have kept pollutants like litter, pathogens, soap and more from our creeks.
Remember, if it’s in the street, it can get into the creek untreated. And in the end, this is all of Ours to Protect.
And as Old Man Winter comes knocking on the door again next year as he always does, perhaps he’ll be quite tickled that our streets and our creeks are a bit tidier for him this time around thanks to you.
This article was authored by Aaron Nunez, Environmental Specialist, City of Santa Rosa, on behalf of RRWA. RRWA is an association of local public agencies in the Russian River Watershed that have come together to coordinate regional programs for clean water, habitat restoration, and watershed enhancement.