Earth Day Event Scheduled For Upper Sand Creek Basin, Volunteers Needed


Join the Earth Team interns, Supervisor Diane Burgis, the Contra Costa County Flood Control District, Contra Costa Resource Conservation District, and Friends of Marsh Creek as they celebrate Earth Day!

Spend the morning in the beautiful Upper Sand Creek watershed, exploring an area that is usually closed to the public. In 2013, the Flood Control District held the first planting event to celebrate the completion of the detention basin. Come see for yourself how much the basin has changed!

The students will be showing off the skills they’ve learned over the year they spent interning with Earth Team.

Activities will include:

  • Trash Talking Showdown – Join a team to see who can pickup, and properly identify, the most trash.
  • Help remove invasive species, and plant the volunteer nursery native plants – Since the initial planting in 2013, a lot has changed with the volunteer nursery, but we still need your help to keep it going!
  • Learn about water quality sampling, your local creeks and what you can do to keep them clean!

If You Go:

2019 will mark the 49th year of the Earth Day, a day that gives people the opportunity to get outdoors and actively doing something to benefit our environment. It is celebrated by 1 million people around the world. On April 20, 2019 there are local events that you can take part in.

In East County, you can celebrate Earth Day with the Earth Team interns from Antioch High School. This is the second year that they will partner with Contra Costa County Supervisor Diane Burgis, Contra Costa County Flood Control District, Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed, and the Contra Costa Resource Conservation District to host an event at the Upper Sand Creek Basin restoration area.

Aside from the good feeling we get from giving back, there are many reasons to participate in one of these, let me give you a few:

Get Outdoors: Spring is a great time to get out into nature – the hills are green, the weather is mild, and wildlife is thriving. The Upper Sand Creek Basin is on the outskirts of Antioch, and part of the project included a restoration area. Restoration was completed in 2013, and a ribbon cutting ceremony was held along with the first planting event. That is when people first discovered what a special place this is. The basin is not open to the public yet, so this is a great opportunity to explore a new place!

Following the first event, volunteers from Friends of Marsh Creek would visit the site to do maintenance and keep the plants watered over the hot, dry summer.

Encourage young minds: Earth Team is a local nonprofit that works with high schools throughout the Bay Area. The program provides internships to students, empowering them to become lifelong environmental stewards. Students implement projects that provide active learning about environmental science. The interns from Antioch High School worked on restoration and conservation sites throughout Antioch. At Upper Sand Creek Basin, they have been taking water quality samples to see how effective the restored channel is at removing urban contaminants from the stream. Their tests, observations, and data can help the Contra Costa County Flood Control District better understand the effects of a restored, more natural channel on water quality.

Learn a new skill:

There are a number of ways to participate:

  • Basin Cleanup – During the wet season, a lot of trash washes into the basin from upstream communities. Earth Team will lead groups of volunteers to see who can pick up the most trash. The winning team will be awarded a prize and bragging rights for the rest of the day!
  • Planting Native Plants – Native plants are adapted to the hot summers and wet winters of East County. Nomad Ecology has provided the technical knowledge and guidance, mapping out the best locations and species. Now all we need is your help to get them in the ground.
  • Mulching & Maintenance – Giving the plants a little TLC before the summer heat kicks in will make it much easier for them to survive.
  • Water Quality Testing – Help collect data, increase your understanding of the importance of keeping our streams clean, and learn about everyday actions you can take to help!

Build community: Volunteering gives you the opportunity to meet other people that share your interest in giving back, getting outdoors, and having fun!

This event is brought to you by:

Earth Team, Contra Costa County Supervisor Diane Burgis, Contra Costa County Flood Control District, Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed and Contra Costa Resource Conservation District, are partnering to bring you this fun filled morning of community and giving back. We hope that you can join us!

For more information and to sign up, check out