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Ellerbe Creek
Watershed Association
YouTube Icon We are excited to be rolling out a series of Ellerbe & Me videos as part of our end of year campaign. Look for a new video each week, and consider supporting ECWA so we can continue to create and document more Ellerbe & Me stories across the watershed!
Working TogetherMeet the newest member of the team that keeps ECWA working - Director of Conservation, Cherri Smith.
Explorer's ClubSign up for nature hikes, Family Explorers Club, preserve workdays, and Green Infrastructure workshops. They're all happening at ECWA nature preserves!
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.
 
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

FUR-EDDIE MERCURY

photo by Lyn Steuart

Eight-year-old Esther Hernandez-Alvarez collects soil samples near Goose Creek. Read More

Eight-year-old Esther Hernandez-Alvarez collects soil samples near Goose Creek. Read More

Eight-year-old Esther Hernandez-Alvarez collects soil samples near Goose Creek. Read More

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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 EPA's proposed revocation of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) definition and its proposed replacement ... is a threat to our non-regulatory approach to restoring Ellerbe Creek. For this reason, the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association has major concerns about both of these proposed agency actions ...

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 Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association visits Durham classrooms and holds outdoor lessons as part of its Explorers Club, which connects students in kindergarten through fifth grade to environmental education opportunities and fosters a love of the outdoors. The nonprofit’s big-picture mission is advocating for a healthy Ellerbe Creek, which runs through Durham and empties into Falls Lake, and protecting more than 340 acres of land along the creek and its tributary streams.

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 Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association visits Durham classrooms and holds outdoor lessons as part of its Explorers Club, which connects students in kindergarten through fifth grade to environmental education opportunities and fosters a love of the outdoors. The nonprofit’s big-picture mission is advocating for a healthy Ellerbe Creek, which runs through Durham and empties into Falls Lake, and protecting more than 340 acres of land along the creek and its tributary streams.

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E-Newsletters

October 2012

The new Ellerbe Creek Family Explorer’s Club meets on the first Saturday of every month, and is open to all families in Durham and surrounding communities. Children and an adult family member attend together. The targeted age group will be 6 years old and under, although all family members, of all ages, are invited to participate.The Club is free, and events usually last about an hour. Families are encouraged to attend as often as schedules permit...
 

August 2012

We currently are looking for a Director of Conservation. The Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association seeks an energetic, organized, social, and highly motivated professional to guide our land conservation and stewardship programs. The primary duties are conducting landowner outreach and conservation transactions; guiding strategic planning of our expanding land conservation and stewardship program, guiding our volunteer-based committees and contracted Land Steward; and providing staff support for our watershed restoration activities...

Photo By Josh Rose

Green Tree Frog
Green Tree Frog at Beaver Marsh

January 2012

We are pleased to annouce the acquisition of a 195-acre parcel near our Glennstone preserve, bringing our protected watershed land area about 350-acres, more than doubling our protected acreage. Thank you to the NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the Upper Neuse Clean Water Initiative, Conservation Trust for North Carolina, the City of Raleigh and Durham County, among others. Thank you to all of our supporters who made this purchase possible by donating time, talent, and financial support to ECWA...
 

 

In the Watershed

September 2012

September brings a number of winter residents back to the Piedmont, including the occasional red-breasted nuthatch and a number of wrens (winter, sedge, marsh) and sparrows (swamp and white-throated). Ruby-crowned kinglets, tiny olive-grey birds with bright red spots on their crown, returned to the Piedmont this month after spending the summer in the coniferous forests of Canada and the northern United States. Migrant warblers also continue to pass through North Carolina as they head towards the neotropics for the winter. Birders may even see snowy egrets, little blue herons and tricolored herons, which won’t return again to the Piedmont until early April...

Photo By Josh Rose

Zebra Longwing butterfly
Zebra Longwing butterfly seen at the headwaters of Ellerbe Creek

July 2012

This month, the sonorous singing of many bird species tapers down with the heat of July, but the indefatigable indigo buntings (Passerina cyanea) and blue grosbeaks (Passerina caerulea) will continue to enliven us with their songs.
One reason blue grosbeaks may continue to sing is because in North Carolina, and throughout the southern extent of their summer range, they often produce two broods per year. By July, most blue grosbeaks in the area will already have nested once, and females will begin to repair or build nests for the second brood...

February 2012

In February, romance is in the air in the avian world. Carolina wrens start to couple up and build nests, along with non-native house sparrows. Barred owls begin hooting their mating calls. Red-shouldered hawks can be seen high in the sky performing their mating displays. Also, woodcocks begin their elaborate courtships in February. It is worth braving the cold this month to watch male woodcocks spiral skyward and fall rapidly back down to earth making a distinct “peenting” call in hopes of attracting a mate...