Who We Are

The Rattlesnake Creek Watershed Group is an open organization.  We have an active Board of Directors and growing volunteer committees. Please contact us if you would like to get involved!

Board of Directors

Nancy Hiel, President

Nancy Siegel, Vice President

Beth Judy, Secretary/Treasurer

Sally Thompson, Member-at-Large

Christine Brick, Member-at-Large

Volunteer Committees

Fundraising Committee
This energetic group ensures that we can develop sufficient funding sources to support our restoration projects, community development activities and general operational needs. Volunteers on this committee do a variety of tasks, including: developing relationships with local corporations, planning fundraising events, and working with potential donors.

Current Fundraising Projects
1) Organizing Public Events:  The RCWG hosts public meetings every 3-4 months and always appreciates creative, innovative ways to get people from all walks of life involved, interested and educated in the work the RCWG is doing.

Potential Projects for Fundraising Committee Members
1) Ice Cream Social:  Perhaps the perfect event for a little support of Rattlesnake Creek would be enjoying some cold, creamy treats along the stream’s edge in Greenough Park one summer afternoon?
2) Silent Auction:  Hosting a silent auction may be another way to allow local folks, businesses and the RCWG to come together and raise money for restoration, education, and conservation work.
3) Create Your Own, Biodegradable Rubber Ducky Race: What a way to bring some creativity, excitement, and fun to Rattlesnake Creek and the RCWG!

Citizen Science and Education Committee
This innovative group explores and conducts science-based projects to learn how to best understand and protect our natural resources in the Rattlesnake Watershed.  In addition, these results and potential issues, concerns and threats to the watershed are disseminated to the community via interesting and exploratory ways designed to engage a variety of people and interests.

Current Citizen Science and Education Projects
1) Storm Drain Stenciling:  The RCWG is currently assessing the storm drains in the Rattlesnake, specifically, where do they drain to?  We’re ordering stencils and planning to paint the storm drains that “Drain to the Creek” or “Drain to the Aquifer”. A great project for the whole family!

Potential Projects for Citizen Science and Education Committee Members
1) Rock Dam Education/Removal:  Those sometimes massive rock dams that kids and adults alike create in the summer can be a migration barrier for our native fish.  Educational signs at major access points as well as a few dam-busting trips up the Creek in the late summer or fall could be on the list of things to do.
2) Maintaining Fish Screens on Irrigation Ditches:  Fish screens, devices that prevent fish from being trapped in irrigation ditches, don’t work well unless they are cleaned and maintained.  Our local irrigators (and our local fish!) always appreciate a helping hand with this.
3) Irrigation Efficiency Workshops: How can each and every one of us use less water, be more efficient with the water we do use, and save money at the end of the day?  Help learn and share about local and national tax credits and incentives, efficiency tips for both in the house and yard, and learn about some projects to implement these goals such as rain barrels, native landscaping and rain gardens.

Stewardship Committee
Be involved in projects that restore and protect the overall health of the Rattlesnake Creek Watershed. Executing successful, high quality ecological restoration projects is at the core of what we do. The stewardship committee ensures that we maintain high quality, volunteer friendly projects and finds innovative new ways to improve our project selection and implementation processes.

Current Stewardship Projects
1) Bugbee Nature Preserve Restoration:  The Bugbee Nature Preserve stewardship program has worked towards improving stream and riparian condition in the valley by several different means such as:
Revegetation, Weed Removal and Maintenance of Planted Areas:  Volunteers have planted a variety of native riparian shrubs and trees and streamside vegetation, hand pulled weeds, clipped and bagged seed heads and hauled them off to Eko Compost to rid the area of seeds.  All these efforts would be in vain if the newly planted seedlings did not get watered or the deer fence was not maintained. Setting a watering and maintenance schedule is at the top of the list for any restoration project within the watershed.

Potential Projects for Stewardship Committee Members:
1) Monitoring Invasive Weeds Areas:  Bugbee Nature Preserve is far from the only area in need of invasive weed removal. Identifying and targeting our removal efforts at other high-priority sites will be critical for continuing the quest to remove invasive weeds from the Rattlesnake Creek corridor.
2) Seed Collection: Using native seeds in re-vegetation efforts is essential to restoring native plant diversity. Often times, however, native seeds are not available commercially, they are too expensive, or the available seeds are not ecologically appropriate.
3) Beetle Kill Tree Identification: Host trainings to teach volunteers and landowners how to identify beetle host trees and methods for spread prevention.

  1. An idea that just came to me last week. The parking lot at the trail head is well used and a pleasure to park in (when the pot holes are filled). Since it is such a popular area I suggest you look into doing a project to make it an outdoor environmental class room. The area adjacent to the parking lot would be an excellent site for such a project. With several stations, constructed to Forest Service standards, all the flora and fauna of the area could be described and explained in moderate detail. The project could be accomplished, in cooperation with U of M School of Forestry, etc..

    With input from the school system it would be an excellent place to take grade school children to give them a great introduction to Natural Resources and the amenities of the Rattlesnake area.

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