Restore Habitats 

Tree Planting

Plant a Tree: Help Restore Streamside Habitat!

Stream Team volunteers plant and maintain native trees and shrubs along local streams to help restore streamside vegetation that provides shade to keep water temperatures cool and create healthier habitats for our watersheds for people and wildlife. Salmon and other aquatic life need clean, cool, oxygen-rich water to thrive. A healthy “riparian zone” (a buffer of plants and trees that grows along streams) helps create high quality habitat in streams for fish, other aquatic organisms, and wildlife. Come rain or shine, our volunteers exercise their “green thumbs” to help save streams. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Trees along stream banks shade the water, helping to maintain cool, oxygen-rich water that Pacific salmon and many other aquatic organisms require to survive.
  • Leaves of native plants, shrubs and trees provide food for small invertebrates, including aquatic “bugs,” that live in streams. These small stream critters (macroinvertebrates) provide the basis of the aquatic food web. Want to learn more about macroinvertebrates?
  • The roots of trees and shrubs stabilize stream banks, preventing erosion and streambank slumping -- especially during winter storms. They also absorb excess nutrients from stormwater runoff and help reduce flooding.
  • Fallen trees, branches, and root wads create deep pools which juvenile salmon seek for shelter from predators and strong currents.

Planting native trees and shrubs with Stream Team is easy, fun and rewarding for the entire family! Plant a tree today, for tomorrow!

Learn more about local streams and stream habitats.

If you go: What to Expect

Plantings occur in March, April, October, and November. Plant maintenance occurs in the summer months. Plantings occur in all four jurisdictions, typically on Saturday mornings or Sunday afternoons. Check the event calendar for dates and locations. A staff contact will be listed for each planting site.

For tree plantings and maintenance, you don’t have to sign up, but it is helpful for the Stream Team Coordinator to know if you will be attending or if you are part of a group of people planning to attend and for you to get site specific information. Some planting sites are located off the road, so contacting the leader will give you more information about getting to the site. Either way, it’s okay to just show up and start planting! You can arrive and leave any time during the duration of the event.

The planting site may be child-friendly and/or have easy access, or it may be difficult to get to. Check with the Stream Team coordinator about the site accessibility and whether or not the site is suitable for children. For special accommodations, please call at least one week in advance to check on site suitability and to see if accommodations can be made. Teens at least 14 years old are permitted to attend the planting without a parent, provided they bring a signed Waiver of Liability for Minor.

  • Tools and gloves are provided by Stream Team. Dress appropriately for the weather and conditions – tree plantings take place rain or shine. Rain gear and/or dressing in layers are often helpful. Sunscreen and/or insect repellant are recommended during the warmer months. We recommend you wear sturdy boots or shoes since our planting sites are often located along stream banks which can often be wet and muddy. 
  • Most project sites do not have bathrooms available.
  • At the planting location, a Stream Team Coordinator will meet you at the registration table. You will sign in and fill out a Waiver of Liability for Adult or Waiver of Liability for Minor. After your event your volunteer hours will automatically be recorded and counted towards your next rewards. See how fast they add up! The Coordinator, or other experienced volunteer, will explain about the project and about why the need for restoration. You will be shown what work needs to be done that day and how to do it. Site leaders will help you get started.
  • Light refreshments are provided for volunteers, but you should bring a water bottle to keep you hydrated while you work.

For more information send an email to info@streamteam.info or call (360) 438-2672.