If You Live on a Creek
Creeks are the lifeblood of
the ecosystem. They are a source of enjoyment and a necessity for the wildlife
that inhabits the area. A healthy creek flowing along your property is a
wonderful amenity, and generally increases your property’s monetary value. You
and your neighbors share responsibility for keeping the creek and its corridor
healthy, both for people’s enjoyment and for the wildlife that depend upon the
fragile waterway. Since so much of creekside property is in private ownership,
much of the responsibility for the health of creeks and the survival of
creek-dependent wildlife lies with you, the creekside residents. Mismanagement
of the creek can often lead to drainage problems. This in turn can cause
erosion, property damage and a decrease in property value.
See our new tip sheets on how to get rid of ivy on your creek bank and what plants to put in its place-- documents are linked at the bottom of this page!
Preserve the existing native creekside vegetation. Creek vegetation provides shelter for fish and wildlife. Overhanging trees offer shade that keeps the water temperatures cool. Cooler temperatures are good for fish and deter unsightly algae growth.
ivy spreading along Wilkie Creek, near Sheldon School.
Use native riparian trees and shrubs when landscaping creek slopes. Native
plants require less water, fertilizers, and are better adapted to California’s
environment. In addition, creekside native plants stabilize creek banks, and
protect slopes from erosion.
Before clearing a large area, however, take measures to prevent erosion. Large-scale clearing along creek banks requires a permit from the California Department of Fish and Game.