Alouette River Management Society (ARMS) will be helping Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows residents care for their backyard streams, thanks in part to a donation from the Royal Bank of Canada.
ARMS was recently presented with a cheque for $5,000 from representatives of the bank for its Adopt-A-Stream Phase 2 project, which is focused on connecting people to the streams in their backyards.
Geoff Clayton, president of ARMS, said the society is "very, very grateful" for the funding from the bank.
"They've shown the confidence that we have the capability to manage money and put it into the Adopt-A-Stream program," Clayton said.
Many people know about the larger river systems but are unaware of how storm drains and small tributaries contribute to the overall health of a watershed.
Adopt-A-Stream brings people together to educate them about the importance of watersheds by holding streamkeeper events to monitor the health of the stream.
ARMS also hopes to establish a working partnership with the District of Maple Ridge, which is essential for the continuation of Adopt-a-Stream in the future.
There are more than 20 tributaries flowing into the South and North Alouette Rivers in the developed areas of Maple Ridge.
Only three are currently adopted including Tributary 2, Morse Creek, and McKenney Creek with salmon spawner surveys conducted every year on Latimer, Millionaire, Coho Creeks, and the North Alouette River.
ARMS has been the recipient of RBC Blue Water funds in the past for its school ecology tour, which works to bring environmental education into the classroom and to streams located in the vicinity of schools in the Maple Ridge area.
ARMS hopes to increase the number of adopted streams, especially in west Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, where streams are highly urbanized, and they plan to promote the Adopt-A-Stream at community events, local farmers market, at the Rivers Heritage Centre, and with the help of the District of Maple Ridge.
Anyone who would like to volunteer with the program is asked to contact the Alouette River Management Society at 604-467-6401 or email@example.com for more information.