Adopt-A-Stream & Street

The Stormwater Management's Adopt-A-Stream Program is always looking for new volunteer groups to walk, clean, and protect streams in Gallatin.

Similar to the Adopt-A-Mile Program, Gallatin's Adopt-A-Stream Program is designed to eliminate, control and maintain litter in local streams. Each participating group pledges a 2-year commitment to clean and maintain a chosen stream. Signs are printed and provided by the City of Gallatin, and the City will erect the signs if the chosen stream crosses TDOT or Gallatin roadway. This valuable program assists in cleaning and maintaining our most valuable water resources, improves the aesthetic value, protects our tourism perception as well as being a positive factor in controlling debris in stormwater runoff.

Remember: Local streams feed Gallatin's treasure, Old Hickory Lake.
3,000 Pounds - The Weight of Trash found in 1 Gallatin Shoreline Cleanup in 2016
Adopt-a-Stream programs are most successful in areas of the country where people have strong ties to surrounding ecosystems. Old Hickory Lake is the source of our drinking water and provides ample tourism and recreation opportunities that bring in revenue to the City of Gallatin. Because groups are asked to monitor and clean up relatively large geographical areas as part of the program, several volunteer groups may be needed to successfully implement an Adopt-a-Stream program effectively for our portion of Old Hickory Lake.


Steps to Create an Adopt-a-Stream Program


  • Identify preferred geographical area
  • Identify resources that can be provided - supplies (trash bags, testing materials), tools (rakes, shovels, bow saws and other gardening equipment) and/or time (a few hours or a few days). Gallatin Public Works provides select supplies for volunteer efforts
  • Identify commitment desired - once a week, once a month, once a year or special event
  • Identify day of week/time preference (weekends, afternoons or evenings)
  • Find a volunteer coordinator to facilitate the project
  • Create an implementation plan (include goals and measurements; benefits of the program - volunteers, and sponsoring organization; and specific volunteer commitments/roles)
  • Recruit volunteers
  • Schedule and hold an orientation meeting for volunteers - allow time for volunteers to get to know each other. Volunteers should become familiar with their responsibilities, the ecosystem involved, and the overall scope of the plan
  • Promote your efforts to local media
  • Implement activities
  • Evaluate activities. (What was successful? What can be improved? Were goals met?)
  • Celebrate what has been accomplished - with the volunteer group, corporate sponsors, your local section and the public

Benefits From Involvement


By participating in an Adopt-a-Stream program, you are benefiting your local environment and making a difference to our quality of life You will also be helping to change the perceptions of people who only connect chemistry with pollution. Sponsors can realize tax-savings through their in-kind and monetary donations, and volunteers will gain from their sense of accomplishment, teamwork and enjoyment.