What is Adopt-A-Stream?

The Adopt-a-Stream program is a hands-on way for local residents and businesses to get actively involved in improving the water quality of the French Broad River Watershed. This a very flexible program that gives you the tools and knowledge to make a difference in your watershed by cleaning up your local stream.


Minimum of 2 cleanups per year
Report any water related issues/problems to RiverLink

Level I (minimum commitment)

  • Conduct two stream clean-up events per year. A stream clean-up involves:
    • Walking the length of your adopted stretch of stream, picking up as much trash as possible, bagging it, and delivering it to a designated disposal site or arranging for the city of Asheville or Department of Transportation to pick up the trash (see page 3 for more information on how to clean and arrange trash pickup).
    • Fill out Adopt-a-Stream Cleanup/Stream Monitoring Report (see page 6 for more details on completing monitoring section).

Level II

  • Conduct three or more clean-up events per year and send one Cleanup/Stream Monitoring Report per cleanup.
  • Conduct and fill out River Corridor Assessment, which is in the Adopt A Stream Team Manual (see attached)
  • Implement one Best Management Practice (BMPs) such as riparian tree planting (contact RiverLink or visit this fact sheet from N.C. State for more information)


  • Conduct education / outreach activities to encourage others to implement BMPs and recruit other Adopt-a-Stream participants.

Why Participate?

By participating in a RiverLink Adopt-a-Stream Team, you are improving one of the region’s greatest natural resources-our creeks and streams!

Everyday pollutants such as trash, used oil, pesticides, fertilizers and yard wastes reach our urban streams. Although some pollutants are easily detected, some go unnoticed without the watchful eye of concerned and involved citizens. Adopt-a-Stream Teams are crucial in protecting our rivers, creeks, and streams and in reporting water pollution problems. This makes RiverLink’s Adopt-a-Stream Program critical to the continued health and vitality of the French Broad River Watershed.

Who Can Participate?

Anyone who is concerned about water quality within the French Broad River watershed can participate! Adopt-a-Stream Teams may include: individuals, communities, families, student organizations, youth and church groups, scout groups, civic organizations, businesses and industries.

Get Involved?

  1. Contact RiverLink’s Volunteer Coordinator, at or (828) 252-8474 ext. 17 to request information and find out which sections of a stream are available for adoption. Please specify if you have a specific stream section or area in mind.
  2. After a stream section has been determined, download your Adopt-a-Stream Team Manual complete with Adopt-a-Stream contract, river cleanup reports, and participant waivers. The participating group must complete two river cleanups in order to have their Adopt-a-Stream team sign installed in their adopted section.
  3. Prior to each scheduled stream cleanup, volunteers are asked to contact RiverLink at least 2 weeks in advance to arrange the pickup of gloves, trash bags, pick up litter sticks and other materials.
  4. Upon completion of each stream cleanup, volunteers are asked to complete river cleanup reports and email to, or mail to 170 Lyman St/Asheville NC 28801.
  5. Pat yourself on the back! Thank you for your time and dedication to help protect and improve the water quality of our streams and lakes!


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"The French Broad River is the third oldest river in the world."

Blue Ridge Heritage National Heritage Area