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Dedicated to protecting and restoring Ellerbe Creek
ECWA E-Newsletter (September 2015)


We will send out this newsletter bi-monthly to keep you up-to-date with ECWA news and upcoming activities. The E-zine with watershed flora & fauna information will come out in alternate months.


2015 Annual Meeting and Celebration
Join ECWA for its 2015 annual meeting on Sunday, October 4th from 3 to 5pm at The Rickhouse at 609 Foster St in Durham. Learn what ECWA has accomplished in the past year and how you can get more involved and take part in a walking tour of Green Infrastructure in Durham Central Park led by ECWA's Executive Director, Chris Dreps. This is a family friendly event and people are encouraged to stay after the meeting from 5 to 6pm to socialize; network; play games; do art projects with the 2015 Beaver Queen, Mz. Polly Nator, & her crew; and eat good food and drink, generously donated by Durham Coop Market, Whole Foods Market, and Tyler's Taproom. 

ECWA's Explorers Program Expands into Durham Public Schools

Explorers ClubThanks to funding from the Duke Community Cares Grant Program, ECWA got more kids out of the classroom and into nature through our Explorers Program. Last school year and this summer ECWA taught over 300 K-5 students on our preserves and developed three educational modules designed to engage kids outdoors. They are available for any educators who are looking for ideas on outdoors learning. For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


BQPJune 6th marked a new queen and another successful fundraiser for ECWA, raising over $18,000 for clean water and green space in Durham! Despite the heat, people from around the Triangle came out in record-breaking numbers, filling the Duke Park meadow with great costumes and pure wackiness. A big thank you to all of the judges and contestants that made this year's pageant such a success. Its never too early to mark your calendars, the Beaver Queen Pageant will always be the "furrst" Saturday of June, next year, June 4th!

ECWA Board Seeking New Secretary

Are you organized, detail-oriented, available for up 8 hours per month and a weekday evening meeting every other month, passionate about the environment, and looking to get more involved in the community? Consider joining the ECWA Board as our new Secretary. Anyone who is interested should contact Steve Cohn, Chair of the Board Nominating and Development Committee, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

September - October 2015

Ellerbe Creek Family Explorers Club

Join naturalist Katie Kovach at Pearl Mill Preserve on Saturday, September 26th at 10am for this month's Family Explorers Club: A Nature Scavenger Hunt! Please RSVP here.

The next Family Explorers Club will be a leaf hunt at 17-Acre Wood on Saturday, October 10th at 10am.    

The Explorers Club is an outdoor activity club for families with young children. While the nature exploration activities are primarily for children 0 to 6 years old, all in the family are welcome to participate. For more information contact 919-698-9729 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Volunteer Stewardship Days

NC Big Sweep is a state-wide initiative held every October to pick up trash in NC waterways. Join ECWA for the 2015 Big Sweep on Saturday, October 10th! We will be cleaning up the Ellerbe Creek from Red Mill Road down to Falls Lake! Pedestrians meet at 9am and paddlers meet at 8:30am. Paddlers will need to supply their own kayak or canoes. For more information, please contact ECWA Board member and creek-sweeper extraordinaire, Ian Pond (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or call the ECWA office, 919-698-9729. Please RSVP here. 

Nature Hikes

Join Alex Johnson, the Urban Forestry Manager for the City of Durham, to talk about trees at Pearl Mill on Saturday, September 19th at 10am.

On Saturday, October 24th at 10am Larry Brockman will be leading a wildlife hike with a focus on beavers at the Beaver Marsh. Come be amazed by the diversity of wildlife on this urban preserve! 

Come check out an ECWA preserve that is not generally open to the public: Celeste Burns, ECWA's Conservation Director, will be leading a kid-friendly walk around Veasey Farm on Sunday, November 8th at 2pm

RSVP is required for all ECWA hikes. Please RSVP here

Creek Smart Workshops

Save the date: ECWA, NC Cooperative Extension, and Seeds will be co-hosting a Creek Smart Workshop at Seeds (706 Gilbert St, Durham) on Saturday, October 10th. Exact time to be announced. For more information please write This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Thanks to the Triangle Community Foundation and New Belgium Brewing Co. for funding this workshop. 


A big thank you to Great Lakes Brewing Company, Frog Hollow Outdoors, and all of the volunteers that came out in April for the GLBC Green Tour/Earth Day Clean Up and Celebration at the Beaver Marsh and the railroad trestle where Ellerbe Creek meets Falls Lake.

Nature Hikes
We are deeply grateful to Dale Herman, Robert Meehan, Larry Brockman, Barbara Beaman, and David & Judy Smith for leading the Memorial Day Heron Rookery hikes where participants saw over 30 species of birds, including an indigo bunting!

Thank you also to Triangle Land Conservancy’s Director of Conservation and Vice-President of the New Hope Audubon Society, Bo Howes for leading a TLC/ECWA birding hike at Glennstone this summer. 

GoatThanks to the goats from the Goat Patrol and all the other hard workers who came out to the Pearl Mill workday in June! 

We also want to thank two awesome Duke student groups that started the academic year off with days of service on ECWA preserves. ECWA and Keep Durham Beautiful hosted two Duke University Project BUILD teams that picked up trash at Falls Lake and removed invasive species at the Beaver Marsh and for the fourth year in a row, a group of Duke Law students tackled invasive species at 17-Acre Wood. Thank you!

for supplying ECWA with funding for two new laptop computers. 

Thank you to the Triangle Community Foundation for supporting ECWA with TWO new Environmental Conservation Grants!  A $10,000 TCF Community Benefits grant will allow ECWA to host a Youth Conservation Corps team and make other improvements to prepare our newest preserve, The Rocks, for opening to the public.  A $25,000 Awareness Grant will allow ECWA to strengthen its Green Infrastructure work, supporting our community engagement and education efforts and specific innovative projects in South Ellerbe Creek.

Max Mukelabai Diversity Summer Intern
This summer we were lucky to have Dani Meyer working with us as a Conservation Trust for North Carolina sponsored Max Mukelabai Diversity Intern. Dani did various projects in the office and in the field, including GIS mapping to develop rain gardens within the watershed, invasive species management, preserve maintenance, environmental education, and reaching out to the Latino community around ECWA preserves. Thank you Dani!

NC Youth Conservation Corps Crew

YCC 2The North Carolina Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) returned to the Beaver Marsh this summer to continue preserve improvements. Thanks to the Eleanor and Joseph Fund of Triangle Community Foundation for the financial support that made this and other Beaver Marsh improvements possible. Make sure to stop by and check out the new and improved trails and boardwalks! 




P.O. Box 2679 Durham NC 27715 | 919-698-9729 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
P.O. Box 2679
Durham, North Carolina 27715

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