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TraCkS: Traverse Creek Stewardship

Main Project Information
Presented By USDA
Where California

Traverse Creek Stewardship (TraCkS) is a group of volunteers who monitor water quality in the Traverse Creek Watershed, which is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in El Dorado County, California.

We are focused on establishing baseline data for water quality conditions in our watershed, to create educational opportunities, to increase stewardship awareness, and to determine if our watershed is healthy. Every year during June, we take "bug" samples at three locations in Traverse Creek. The rest of the year, we meet two nights a month to identify the insects and other small organisms.

No experience is required to participate in TraCkS activities. Our experienced volunteer leaders provide on-the-job training. The water quality of a stream is a combination of its physical, chemical, and biological characteristics. As volunteer citizen monitors, we visit five locations in the Traverse Creek watershed monthly to check on the health of our streams. We take samples of the water and check the temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, and turbidity. We also take photos of the stream and sites to monitor changes in the riparian zone. Once a year we do a complete physical and biological assessment.

How to Join

Want to have a positive impact on your environment? Follow the lead of concerned citizens in the county and become a volunteer to help preserve our natural resources! No specific skills are required; all you need is the desire to protect our watershed and a willingness to learn and perform simple monitoring techniques.

Be a citizen monitor to keep yourself in tune with the health of our environment, educate yourself about the plants and animals in our watershed, help pinpoint pollution sources and identify widespread problems before they occur in our community. There is no limit to your contribution: be a water quality monitor, bug counter and sorter, participate in stream cleanups and stream bank restoration and help keep our water clean!

This is a great 4-H project, a way to earn Boy or Girl Scout badges, Leadership requirement for community service or just to learn more about your environment. Adults, families, high school or middle school students are welcome! Younger children must be well supervised.

For more information contact Susan Mccormick at

Required Gear

The El Dorado County and Georgetown Divide Resource Conservation Districts and the American River Conservancy have provided equipment and training to volunteer monitors and in turn, monitors will collect information to assist in the ongoing monitoring of recreational and commercial activities in the Traverse Creek watershed.

Ideal Age Group Elementary school (6 - 10 years), Middle school (11 - 13 years), High school (14 - 17 years), College, Graduate students, Adults, Families
Spend the Time outdoors
Media Mentions
and Publications
Project Updated 10/06/2017