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Dedicated to protecting and restoring Ellerbe Creek
ECWA E-Newsletter (November 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.


Big Changes Coming to South Ellerbe Creek!

Pearl Mill Preserve Expansion
In 2006 Duke Energy Corporation donated 3 acres of urban nature to create ECWA's third preserve, Pearl Mill, located between the Trinity Park, Old North Durham, and Duke Park neighborhoods. In the coming months, Pearl Mill will be expanded with the donation of an additional 2.5 acres from Duke Energy. This transaction grant was made possible by Triangle Community Foundation's Support for Places: Environmental Conservation Transaction Program that will pay closing costs and provide ECWA with its first ever stewardship endowment.

City Approves Purchase of Former Duke Diet and Fitness Site

On October 19th, the Durham City Council voted to purchase 9.1 acres of property on South Ellerbe Creek best known as the former Duke Diet and Fitness Center. The City plans to raze the building, which was unfortunately located in a flood plain, and construct a wetland to treat polluted runoff from downtown Durham. ECWA supports the use of this property for stormwater management and we look forward to working with the City and other neighbors to design a project that will be a model for stormwater management and something that we can all be proud of. For questions or additional information contact Chris Dreps at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ECWA helps SEEDS to become Creek Smart®

Rain GardenSEEDS community garden is becoming one of the most Creek Smart® locations in Durham! ECWA's has been working with SEEDS to plan and design innovative water management practices to help them reach their goal of harvesting and sustainably using rainwater for all of their operations. On Halloween day community volunteers installed a rain garden. For more information visit or contact ECWA's Creek Smart® Technician, Robert Meehan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Indy Week's Give!Guide

GiveGuideECWA is excited to be participating again this year in the Indy Week's Give!Guide, a program that helps fund and promote local nonprofits by encouraging year-end giving. The Give!Guide is already accepting donations and will have a kickoff party this Sunday, Nov 8th at the Blue Note Grill in Durham from 4-7pm. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for Big Give Days where you will be entered into a drawing to win some great prizes! Thank you to Acme Plumbing for matching the first $2,500 raised and to Tyler's Taproom and Sam's Bottle Shop for providing incentives to those who donate.

Changes to the ECWA Board

ECWA would like to thank Leslie McClellan for her many years of dedicated service on the ECWA Board. Leslie was instrumental on the Education Committee and in the creation of the first ever Ellerbe Creek Nature Tour. We would also like to thank Tony Tschopp for the amazing job that he did as ECWA's Board Secretary. Tony will be stepping down as secretary but will remain on the board at large. To fill the secretary position, Juli Lanser has just joined the board, along with Water Management Committee member John Dorney. Juli and John, welcome!

November - December 2015

Ellerbe Creek Family Explorers Club

Join naturalist Katie Kovach at Glennstone Preserve on this Saturday, November 7th at 10am for Mapping a Path of Our Own! Please RSVP here.

The next Family Explorers Club will be Nature Crafts at Northgate Park on December 5th 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.. 

Nature Hikes

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 this Sunday, November 8th at 2pm. Please RSVP here

End of Year Drive

ECWA is an important part of what we all love about Durham. Watch for a letter from us in the coming month, and thank you for being a part of all that we do to make Ellerbe Creek an asset for our community.


A big thank you to all the folks who came out to the ECWA Annual Meeting! At the meeting ECWA received over $500 in membership renewals and raised $1,300 to build a kiosk at our soon to be newest preserve, The Rocks. 

Nature Hikes
Thanks to Alex Johnson, the Urban Forestry Manager for the City of Durham, for sharing his extensive knowledge about trees and urban tree issues facing Durham at ECWA's Pearl Mill Preserve in September.

We are also very grateful to Larry Brockman and Dan Jones for leading a wildlife hike focusing on beavers in October at the Beaver Marsh. Hike attendants were lucky enough to see a blue heron devouring a large fish! The hike was made even better by a surprise appearance by herpetologist Ron Grunwald.

Thanks to all of you who came out for Big Sweep 2015! Sadly, the creek was the worst we have ever seen it with trash along the entire bank length from Red Mill Road all the way down to Falls Lake. Led by board member Ian Pond, ECWA volunteers managed to pull out 30 full bags of trash and 21 bags of recycling!

We also greatly appreciate those who organized other Big Sweep events in the watershed, including Hart and the Dog Walkers at 17-Acre Wood and Sean Doig on Goose Creek.

Thank you also to the team leaders from Whole Foods who came out for a workday at Pearl Mill. It was great to see our long-time business sponsors getting their hands dirty at a nearby ECWA preserve.

Last but not least, thank you to Keep Durham Beautiful for providing native plants and for all of those who came out to the community workday at Pearl Mill to plant them.

We are grateful to have received a $23,900 grant from the Triangle Community Foundation's Support for Places: Environmental Conservation Transaction Program.  As mentioned above, the grant will support the expansion of Pearl Mill and the establishment of our first ever stewardship endowment. 



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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