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Ellerbe Creek
Watershed Association
Working TogetherMeet the newest members of the team that keeps ECWA working - Director of Conservation, Cherri Smith and CTNC Diversity Intern, Val Quintero.
Join ECWAJoin ECWA. Your family can join ECWA for as little as 11 cents per day. Help us protect the creek, restore the creek and connect the community to the creek.
Explorer's ClubSign up for nature hikes, Family Explorers Club, preserve workdays, and Green Infrastructure workshops. They're all happening at ECWA nature preserves!
Creek SmartIntroducing the new, an easy-to-use and comprehensive resource for learning how to reduce your stormwater footprint!
The Rocks Nature Preserve
Youth Conservation Corps

at Glennstone Nature Preserve

Image from ECWA wildlife camera
at Glennstone Nature Preserve

ECWA 2014 Creek Tour

Glennstone Nature Preserve

Artwork by Melanie Middleton's kindergarten class from EK Powe Elementary School about their science class field trips to the 17 Acre Wood

Bald Eagle at Beaver Marsh Preserve
(photo by j meehan)

Introducing the 2017 Beaver Queen


photo by Lyn Steuart


Upcoming Events


Behind an abandoned movie theater, just off Interstate 85 and above an urban wetland, 10 young people spent last week blazing half a mile of trails.

Maybe not quite blazing – more like chopping, pulling, digging, filling, grading and bridging half a mile through heat, bugs, brush and matted tangles of English ivy,...

The Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, City of Durham Stormwater Services, American Rivers, Downtown Durham, Inc., and the Triangle J Council of Governments are conducting a study in the Ellerbe Creek Watershed to identify opportunities for small stormwater retrofits (e.g. green roofs, rain gardens) with the potential to improve water quality in the creek.

It’s bawdy, it’s irreverent, but it also bills itself as family-friendly, and all the money raised goes for an environmental cause — to improve the water quality of Ellerbe Creek.

It is the annual Beaver Queen Pageant, and the 13th annual contest for the queen of the wetlands will be held Saturday, June 3, in Duke Park. Just about everything that is said at the pageant or published on the Beaver Queen website is a pun...

“Fur-Eddie Mercury” on Saturday was crowned the 2017 Beaver Queen after a competitive Beaver Queen Pageant that included singing, comedy and lots of double entendres.

The annual Beaver Queen Pageant, held the first Saturday in June at Duke Park, is a fundraiser for the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association. Funds are raised in large part by guests and contestants “bribing” judges — legally — to get their votes as well as participants paying $5 per vote.

The thirteenth annual Beaver Queen Pageant is this Saturday in Duke Park. The Clarion Content is a long-time fan.It is the big annual fundraiser for the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association. Ellerbe Creek is one of our area’s most important watersheds and environmentally diverse habitats.

It all started with a group of individuals trying to save a beaver den from an Interstate Highway. This year the theme of the Beaver Queen is the Wizard of Gnaws. (eg. Oz).

While out fishing on a lake with her father, 7-year-old Laura Smith lost one of her baby teeth. As the tooth was falling out, she hooked a big fish.

“That’s one of our family folk tales,” said Smith, now a parent as well as a stormwater expert with the city of Durham. “When families spend time in nature together, they are building the foundation for a lifelong environmental ethic, not to mention forming great memories.”

From Allibay and Watery Branch to Pinhook and Allergy Creek, the history of Ellerbe and South Ellerbe creeks is long and colorful. During his 1701 trek through the wilderness of the Carolinas, John Lawson headed east from Occaneechi Town (near what is now Hillsborough). Lawson wrote of hiking 14 difficult miles, "a sad stoney way," to the next village, called Adshusheer.


The Rocks Nature Preserve Celebration


The Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association (ECWA) is happy to invite you to the celebration of ECWA's newest nature preserve, The Rocks! The Rocks Nature Preserve is a 2-acre preserve which opened in the fall of 2016. It protects one of the prettiest parts of Ellerbe Creek and supports a wide variety of local wildlife.

Celebrate with us on Sunday, April 2nd from 1-4pm! This is a free, family friendly event. Experts will guide us through several different programs. Join us for one program or stay for the whole afternoon!


  • 1:00 - General information
  • 1:15 - Tour of The Rocks and its importance for the land
  • 2:00 - History of The Rocks
  • 2:15 - Tour of the creek and how The Rocks protects it
  • 3:00 - ~1 mile hike along the future West Ellerbe Creek Trail
  • 3:00 - Stay behind and talk with ECWA staff and volunteers, enjoy the new preserve, and take part in kid-friendly activities!

The Rocks Nature Preserve is located near Broad St and Stadium Dr.

Parking is available at the Central Professional Park, located at 2609 N Duke St near Stadium Dr. Signs will guide you! Google Maps Directions.

Let your friends know you are going on Facebook.

Questions? Contact Chris Sajdak
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - (919) 698-9729