In conjunction with the Massachusetts Riverways Adopt-A-Stream Program, we sponsor several “Stream Teams” comprised of citizen volunteers who advocate for their local segment of the Ipswich River watershed. These volunteers are among the most committed and knowledgeable in the watershed, and have undertaken many projects to protect the Ipswich River and educate their communities about the issues facing the river.
Below are brief descriptions of the existing teams and a contact email for each Stream Team leader. If you are interested in joining an existing Stream Team or forming a new Stream Team in your community, please contact IRWA at email@example.com. We are currently seeking volunteers to coordinate Stream Teams in the lower watershed, in the towns of Ipswich, Hamilton-Wenham (Miles River), and Topsfield.
Middleton Stream Team
Formed in 1998, the Middleton Stream Team has gradually grown to about dozen active members. Its purpose is to monitor, educate, advocate, and conduct projects for the ecological health and responsible public use of the streams, wetlands and approximately eight miles of Ipswich River within Middleton. The team’s activities include oversight, historical research, public education, conservation, remediation, the development and maintenance of river sites for public use and fostering responsible stewardship of our water resources by all users, land owners and businesses. The team has developed four permanent sites for canoe launching, picnicking, and conservation on the Ipswich River. The team has also installed stream name signs at all road crossings. The team maintains a permanent watershed educational display case in the Middleton Post Office/Sovereign Bank Lobby, publishes a weekly water-related essay in the Tri-Town Transcript, sponsors an annual contest for photos of Middleton natural water resources, conducts a series of hikes and canoe trips throughout the year for the public and runs the annual Earth Day Festival in Middleton.
Contact: See the Middleton Stream Team website for more information or join their Facebook page.
Reading/North Reading Stream Team
Formed in 1997, The Reading/North Reading Stream Team sponsors an annual river clean up
(traditionally in June) and members of the team are available to do outreach (with a traveling display). The team designed a brochure describing the benefits of rain barrels and has held several rain barrel sales. Other projects include the design and installation of a demonstration low-water-use lawn, participation in Conservation Commission issues that affect the river, enactment of Public Involvement Plans for four Massachusetts 21E hazardous waste sites, and river walks in the Reading Town Forest to highlight the conditions of the river in different seasons. The team also continues to make recommendations to the town on water supply planning for the future. The team also helped with the installation of a new kiosk in the Reading Town Forest.
Contact: Gina Snyder
Headwaters Stream Team
Formed in 1996, The Headwaters Stream Team focuses on the Ipswich River’s headwater streams:
Martins Brook, Lubbers Brook, Mill Brook, and Maple Meadow Brook, located in the Wilmington, MA area. The team has completed four shoreline surveys of these brooks and streams. The team also sponsors trash clean-ups, identifies vernal pools, raises concerns about projects at town board meetings, and offers walks around the area.
Contact: Suzanne Sullivan
Ipswich Stream Team
Formed in 2009, The Ipswich Stream Team is still looking for new members and formulating ideas for projects and events. Members help with our annual herring count and help collect samples for bacteria testing in Ipswich. If you are interested in being involved please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Topsfield Stream Team
We are looking for volunteers to form a Topsfield Stream Team. Project ideas include:
- Assisting us with a road-crossing sign project by identifying and prioritizing sites and working with the town.
- Monitoring Hoods Pond for early detection of invasive species such as water chestnut.
Hamilton/Wenham Miles River Stream Team
We would like to form a Stream Team for Hamilton and Wenham to cover the Miles River as well as other streams and water bodies in this region. Past efforts focused on the history and ecology of the Miles River and water withdrawal issues. We also need help in this region identifying sites for stream crossing signs and working with towns to adopt the project.