Volunteers Needed - Stream Clean Up - You can make a difference

Partners in Protecting Sterling’s Environment

Sterling Foundation is proud to partner with Project Stream Clean, an initiative of the Chesapeake Network.

Every spring, tens of thousands of volunteers come together to pick up trash from local streams, creeks, rivers, parks, and neighborhoods as part of Project Clean Stream — the largest cleanup event in the Chesapeake Bay region! Cleanups take place across the entire Chesapeake watershed, in all six Bay states and DC.

Through Project Clean Stream, the Network offers hands-on opportunities for other environmental organizations, local businesses and governments, community groups, houses of worship, schools and universities, and residents to take action to make a true impact and nurture a lasting personal stewardship and commitment to the environment, clean water, and Chesapeake Bay watershed restoration. Through our Project Clean Stream cleanups, volunteers have the opportunity to dig, plant, pick-up trash, and discover how their everyday decisions affect the overall health of their local waterways, and the Bay.

The Network coordinates local site cleanups, trains site captains, and provides cleanup supplies such as trash bags and gloves.

Volunteers should sign up through the Chesapeake Network at https://www.chesapeakenetwork.org/cleanup/sterling-foundation-inc-project-clean-stream/

Please note that registering online is by no means a commitment from you to participate. If you should happen to be busy on the day of the clean up, that’s okay!

Project Clean Stream
Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay
and you!
A young volunteer from our 2017 stream clean up
A lovely group of volunteers from 2017

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are clean up events so important?
Because not only is litter disgusting to look at, litter pollutes the planet where we all live and harms innocent wildlife. Plastic is especially harmful to every living creature since it photo-degrades over time, resulting in microscopic plastic particles that basically pollute our environment with toxins forever. When litter reaches the oceans, it gets stuck in giant swirling gyres, contaminating the oceans, the sea life that eats it or gets tangled in it, and the greater food chain (including us humans). Litter cleanup events help to rid the planet from these harmful products, and cleanup events where recycling is a priority (like the CTB), the litter is converted to useful products, saving natural resources and energy.
What should I bring?
Wear rubber boots, or closed-toed shoes you can get wet. Clothes you can get dirty – lightweight long pants and long sleeves are recommended. Read up on what poison ivy looks like. Sunblock and bug spray. Make sure you bring a water bottle! Or, if you prefer, bring a hydration backpack and plan to re-fill throughout the day.

We will provide work gloves, bags, trash grabbers, a map to your site, water/lemonade, and snacks.

Can the whole family help?
Yes, kids can clean up. Actually, you’re our best volunteers!

Each child 10 and under must have an adult to supervise them at all times. Groups of children between 10-18 years old should have an adult group supervisor to sign the waiver for them, with an adult-child ratio as approved by their school, youth group, or organization. Kids 16-18 can attend with a signed adult contact waiver and should ask at the registration table to complete that paperwork then be assigned to an adult supervisor if they wish to participate.

Can those with mobility issues help?
We will have the stream mapped out so that everyone can participate based on their ability. If you prefer to stay at the registration table and help with logistics, that is also an ex-stream-ly valuable role! We are sorting recycling out after lunch as well, if you prefer a less strenuous activity.
What do you need?
Your time, mostly! We’d also love in-kind snack donations, and anyone with an ATV or lawn tractor and trailer to help haul bags out. We have some other equipment and supply requests:

THANK YOU! Email [email protected] for a sponsorship form (including our tax-free EIN), or with any questions.

Is there a restroom?

Yes. We are arranging toilet facilities and a three-stage handwashing station.

Can I keep something that I find?
As long as you’re not grabbing something from private property, if you find something that can be reused or repurposed, then feel free to take it home. Reusing is better than Recycling or tossing away.
Where do I register online?

You can register online at: https://www.chesapeakenetwork.org/cleanup/sterling-foundation-inc-project-clean-stream/ 

Please note that registering online is by no means a commitment from you to participate. If you should happen to be busy on the day of the clean up, that’s okay!

Why should I register online?
In short, registering online will save you time at the sign-in table. Later, it will save us time trying to decipher handwritten names and emails to send you a cleanup report. Besides providing the organizers a sense of the interest in the event, if weather becomes an issue, you will be alerted via email with updates.

Please note that registering online is by no means a commitment from you to participate. If you should happen to be busy on the day of the clean up, that’s okay!

When is the rain date used?
Since we know our volunteers prefer to plan ahead and fit the cleanup into their busy schedules, we really don’t want to postpone the cleanup just because the weather is less than perfect. So unless severe weather is in the vicinity (hail, snow, thunderstorms, tornados, hurricanes, SNOW, etc.), we’ll hold the event as scheduled. A little bit of drizzle or cold temperatures won’t spoil our mission, right? You just need to plan ahead and dress for the conditions.
Does the Sterling Project Clean Stream count towards community service time?
Yes! Get your form and any sign-in and sign-out completed at the registration table on the day. We are a registered local non-profit and your efforts will benefit our environment and community.
Any advice from clean up experts?

Yes! Please check out these tips for cleanup crews! Thanks to the Cascades Trash Bash!

Volunteer Waiver

All volunteers must read, understand, and sign the Volunteer Waiver in order to participate. Thank you!
All volunteers must read, understand, and sign the Volunteer Waiver in order to participate. Thank you!

Volunteer Waiver Form

In signing the event waiver form, I acknowledge that there are risks and hazards associated with volunteering with the Sterling Foundation (Foundation), and I agree to assume all such risks and the possibility of hazards to me, my child (children), supervised minors in my group, and all real or personal property, and do not hold the Foundation, property owners, Site Captain, Sterling Foundation, or associated organizing group responsible. I understand that participation in Sterling Foundation activities is entirely voluntary. I understand that Foundation events involve physical activity, including bending, lifting, and digging. I know and understand the risks and dangers involved in the above named activities and I know and understand that unanticipated dangers may arise.

I hereby assume all responsibility and risk, and agree to release, and waive all claims, causes of action, judgments, and expenses, including reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, in connection with injuries or damage to persons or property sustained or incurred in connection with or as a result of my participation in this event or any related activities sponsored or held by the Sterling Foundation and its activity partners, and hereby agree to indemnify and hold the Sterling Foundation and its activity partners, its officers, volunteers, directors, members, staff, and any others acting on behalf of the Sterling Foundation, harmless in connection with any and all of the foregoing.

In addition, I consent to the use by the Sterling Foundation, and their affiliates, of my and/or my children’s or supervised minors in my group, name, photo, likeness, or film, videotape, and/or sound recording of me and/or my children or supervised minors in my group (collectively, hereinafter referred to as the “Information”), to promote or publicize the Sterling Foundation and its partner activities, both internally and externally, in any media whether now known or hereafter devised. I expressly disclaim all rights to all values and benefits Sterling Foundation and its partners may gain through the use of the Information. I give permission for photos of myself and/or children, or supervised minors in my group, taken during this event to be used for future Foundation and partner promotion or reporting.

I recognize that by signing the waiver I am waiving certain rights, including the right to sue.

My sign up via signupgenius.com, including provision of my contact email for any Sterling Foundation Volunteer Event listed through signupgenius.com, indicates acceptance of all the above waiver text located online for reference at https://www.sterlingfoundation.org/volunteer-waiver

Hoja de Registro de Voluntarios

Al firmar esta forma, reconozco que existen riesgos y peligros asociados con Sterling Foundation y estoy de acuerdo con asumir los riesgo y la posibilidad de peligros hacia mí, mi hijo(a) (hijos(as), menores de edad supervisados en mi grupo, y toda propiedad personal o real, y no hago responsables al los dueños de las propiedades, Capitán de la Localidad (Site Captain), Sterling Foundation o al grupo organizador. Entiendo que el evento requiere cierta actividad física como doblarse, levantar y cavar. Sé y entiendo los riesgos y peligros envueltos en las mencionadas actividades y sé y entiendo que pueden ocurrir peligros no previstos.

Asumo toda la responsabilidad y riesgo, y relevo y renuncio toda reclamación, causa de acción, sentencias y otros gastos, incluyendo gastos y costas razonables de abogado, relacionados con lesiones o daños a personas o propiedad ocurrida o sufrida en conexión con o como resultado de mi participación en este evento o en cualquier actividad relacionada que sea auspiciada o llevada a cabo por Sterling Foundation, y también estoy de acuerdo con indemnizar y mantener sin perjuicio de cualquier y todo lo anteriormente mencionado a Sterling Foundation, sus oficiales, voluntarios, directores, miembros, personal y cualquier otra persona en función del Sterling Foundation.

Además, otorgo el consentimiento para el uso por el Sterling Foundation y sus afiliadas, de nombre, foto, parecido o aspecto, película, grabación de video, y/o grabación de sonido de mí y/o mis hijos, de los menores bajo supervisión que están mi grupo (se refiere de ahora en adelante como la “Información”), que sean míos y/o de mi hijos, o de los menores bajo supervisión que están mi grupo, para publicar o promover actividades internas y externas, en cualquier medio ya sea conocido o establecido en un futuro por el Sterling Foundation. Expresamente rechazo cualquier reclamación de todos los valores y beneficios que Sterling Foundation puedan ganar a través del uso de la Información. Doy permiso para que las fotos tomadas durante este evento de mí y/o mis hijos, o de los menores bajo supervisión que están mi grupo, que sean utilizadas para promocionar el Sterling Foundation en futuras ocasiones o en reportajes.

Reconozco que al firmar este documento estoy renunciando a ciertos derechos, incluyendo el derecho a demandar.

Mi firma en la parte de abajo indica que acepto todo el contenido de relevo que está en la página 1 de este documento, como referencia, también se encuentra en línea en https://www.sterlingfoundation.org/volunteer-waiver/

Thank You!