Public Lab Research note


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The Neighborhood Creek Expedition

by kanarinka |

An unnamed creek winds its way through our neighborhood in Waltham, MA. It gets channeled underground at certain points and above ground at others. There is lots of flora and fauna along the way, as well as drainage issues for the properties nearby. A couple of us decided to organize an event to walk the way the creek flows, learn about it as a habitat, and have snacks together. Susan Brown, who leads local tours for the Appalachian Mountain Club and lives in Waltham, was our guide and helped put together a creek scavenger hunt for us to see if the creek's habitat was healthy. The Piety Corner Social Club, our local neighborhood social center, helped us organize the event.

Photos from the Expedition

Questions and next steps

The event was super successful. We saw larval bugs, flatworms, roly polys, a dead snake, lady bugs, water skeeters, snails, a troll (statue), and no frogs but we know that there are many frogs in the creek. There was a lot of vegetation growing around the creek in the spots where it is above ground, including some poison ivy that we tried to avoid. We also met many neighbors, chatted about Waltham history, and had some awesome snacks after a long, wet expedition. We had a great turnout of all ages and we will likely make this an annual event in the future.



boston water-sensing massachusetts water-quality water northeast waltham

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