Stream Teams

Fran Masse (left) Pike Messenger and have worked together for many years on the Middleton Stream Team. Photo: J. Schneider

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 We are currently seeking volunteers to coordinate Stream Teams in the lower watershed, in the towns of Ipswich, Hamilton, and/or Topsfield.

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 two permanent sites for canoe launching, picnicking, and conservation on the Ipswich River, and is currently developing a third. 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, and conducts a series of hikes and canoe trips throughout the year for the public.
Contact: Katharine Brown or John Bacon (978)750-4562 or check out their website.

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.
Contact: Gina Snyder

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

Formed in 2009, The Ipswich Stream Team is still looking for new members and formulating ideas for projects and events.  If you are interested in being involved please contact: