The Izaak Walton League believes every American has the right to know whether the streams in their communities are safe for kids to play in, dogs to splash through, people to fish in, and more. That’s why we created the Clean Water Challenge – to improve awareness of the importance of individual actions in keeping streams healthy. You can help by getting kids out into local streams and teaching them that healthy streams are critical to healthy communities.

Looking for water-focused activities to add to your youth program? Then Creek Freaks is for you!

Our Creek Freaks program provides step-by-step instructions for indoor and outdoor activities that help children explore local streams and teaches them the importance of protecting clean water and wildlife. These activities can be used together for full-day events or individually for daily or weekly courses. The program was designed for youth ages 10-14, but most activities can be adapted for a wider range of ages.

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Here’s how you can help youth get started with clean water activities:

  • Creek Freaks in the Classroom: Our Creek Freaks curriculum guide offers simple activities you can do with kids in the classroom, at summer camp, after school, or at a Scout troop meeting. Download the full curriculum from our website or print out just the pages you need. Each activity offers important lessons on water quality and stream health.

  • Take Creek Freaks Stream-Side: Izaak Walton League staff can train adults on the basics of stream monitoring and how to teach these concepts to youth for hours of water-based fun. (Kids love looking for stream critters, which also tell you a lot about stream health!) Visit our website for more information on available Creek Freaks trainings.

  • Weekly Water Challenges: Every gallon of water we don’t use is a gallon that does not have to be treated at the local sewage treatment plant. There are plenty of things kids can do at home to decrease water usage (and we know there are few things kids love more than telling their parents what they should be doing)! Weekly clean water challenges could include:

    • Turn of the water while brushing their teeth or washing dishes.
    • Take shorter showers (less than 10 minutes) and take showers instead of baths.
    • Clean up after pets and dispose of pet waste in the trash bin.
    • Plant “natives” in the garden, which need less watering and chemicals to thrive.
    • Put food waste in the trash, not the garbage disposal. (Disposals consume a lot of water and increase nutrient loads in local waterways.)
  • Take More Stream Selfies! Get the kids involved with Stream Selfies. They will love seeing their streams pop up on the map (and it will give them something productive to do with their phones!). Adding these spots to the map helps us develop a list of sites that can be adopted by monitoring groups.

For more information on our clean water programs for youth and adults, visit our Clean Water web page. Questions? E-mail the League’s Save Our Streams coordinator.