Make Your Positive Impact 
Adopt a stream group

Adopt A Stream connects us directly to our streams - so we can clean them, enjoy them, and celebrate the improvements in our water quality and soil erosion over time. As we become better water and soil stewards, we'll see improvements in the health of our lands and our people. 

Good news; Anyone can adopt a stream! Individuals, families, businesses, and community groups can adopt a portion of a river, creek, or stream and organize cleanups to help our waterways stay free of litter and other contaminants.

Get Started

You have a few options to get started...

  1. Form a team
    Start with a core group with the capabilities and dedication to make it happen! Teams can be formed through your workplace, neighborhood, schools, church, and other community groups. 
  2. Join an existing team
    Volunteer to be apart of an existing Adopt A Stream group and volunteer to help out with one of their cleanups. It's super easy! Check out this list of existing Adopt a Stream groups.

Pick a Stream

You have your team, now it's time to select a stream you want to adopt. Nearly every stream in the Des Moines area could benefit from your efforts, but for a little extra guidance check out a few things to keep in mind when you're making your selection. 


File The Adoption Papers

You picked your stream, now let's make it official. Fill out the following adoption papers so we have the information we need to help you begin planning your event. 


Clean It Up

Your stream has been adopted, now let's get to planning the cleanup. Follow these steps to have a successful cleanup event: 

  1. Tell us your cleanup dateCeanup
    Fill out our online form to let  us know when you're planning your cleanup event.
  2. Use our planning checklist
    Our planning checklist provides key aspects to make sure your team is prepared ahead of time!
  3. Reserve your cleanup supplies
    Fill out our reservation form to reserve your supplies today. We distribute our supplies through our Hazardous Waste Drop-Off facility in Bondurant.
  4. Disposal Arrangements
    Contact the city to let them know where the cleanup is happening to arrange for a dumpster or method to dispose of the collected waste. 
  5. Fill out the safety & liability waiver
    When you signed your adoption papers, you also agreed to have all volunteers sign the safety form & liability waiver for each cleanup. Download the safety form and liability waiver

    Once you have them all signed, send them our way...
    Mail: Adopt A Stream, 300 E. Locust St., Suite 100, Des Moines, IA 50309
  6. Review our safety guidelines
    It's important to review our safety guidelines to make sure everyone goes home in the same condition as they arrived.
  7. Take photos and have fun!
    We would love to see your photos from your event. Either email us your pictures, or tag us on Facebook or Twitter.

After Your Cleanup

We want to know how it went! Fill out our online form to share the success of the cleanup. This includes tracking how many trash bags or dumpsters you filled, any additional items you found such as tires, bicycles, drums or other larger items, and an approximate weight of the trash collected. We provide the cleanup results to the Iowa Department Of Natural Resources (DNR) on an annual basis.