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Urban Waters

In the Spotlight: Plaster Creek Stewards Watershed Restoration Project

Plaster Creek Stewards Watershed Restoration Project

Summary of Project

Plaster Creek Stewards Watershed Restoration Project: Children planting in a corner garden

This two-year project (2011-2013) focuses on the educational component of the Plaster Creek Stewards strategic plan. In particular we are working to create upstream-downstream partnerships through presentations to churches, schools, and community groups. These presentations always include an invitation to participate in on-the-ground restoration activities with others in the watershed. We also hold annual spring, fall, and summer workshops that always combine education and action. These workshops provide opportunities for individuals and groups from different locations in the watershed to come together and develop coordinated action plans.

This project also includes an oral history initiative to collect stories and memories from people's experiences in the Plaster Creek watershed. Collecting these accounts provide a deeper understanding of what the watershed used to be like and the changes it has endured over time. This oral history project helps elucidate people's relationship to the creek over time and provides hope and vision for what the creek can once again become.

This project is unique because it began in a college involving multiple faculty and students. Plaster Creek Stewards reaches out intentionally to the local faith-community, and relies on the expertise of a variety of community partner organizations. Finally, this watershed integrates a wide diversity of communities and land use patterns within a single sub-basin of the Lower Grand River Watershed in West Michigan

Group photo on a bridge

Group Photo on a pile of empty flower pots at project completion


Plaster Creek Stewards Watershed Contact
Dr. Gail Gunst Heffner (Gheffner@calvin.edu)