Making the Most of Your Library Visit

There is an ocean’s worth of information about water out there. The Creek Freaks Library offers time-tested materials that can help make you a stream expert.

Creek Freaks Curriculum

  • Creek Freaks Curriculum (PDF): Includes detailed instructions to run all Creek Freaks classroom activities and stream monitoring activities, including data forms and instructions. (Best if printed double-sided.)
  • Holding onto the GREEN Zone: The Creek Freaks program and curriculum are based on the Holding onto the GREEN Zone curriculum, which includes many additional activities that you may want to use with your Creek Freaks program. This is a link to the downloadable Student Action and Leader guides on the Bureau of Land Management Web site.
  • Materials List (PDF) - A list of materials needed to run Creek Freaks activities. This list is also included in the Creek Freaks Curriculum, but is available separately here as a quick reference guide.
  • Creek Freaks Camp Sample Schedule - A comprehensive guide to using the Creek Freaks Curriculum in a summer camp setting.

Creek Freaks Stream Monitoring Materials

Water Words: Your Water Dictionary: From aquifers to wetlands (sorry, no "z" words in our dictionary yet), we'll walk you through the many words that describe the health of your waterways and how they function.

Macroinvertebrate Resources

  • Key to Stream Macroinvertebrates (PDF link): This 1-pager walks you though identifying bugs in your creek with detailed illustrations and tips like looking at the number of legs and tails.
  • Macroinvertebrate Scale Chart (PDF link): A 1 page key that gives users a general idea of what size to expect for each macroinvertebrate.
  • How to ID Macros (PDF link): New to macroinvertebrate ID?  Check out this quick guide to get you started.  


IWLA Watershed Stewardship Action Kit

  • Funding Watershed Conservation Projects (PDF): This brief overview of fundraising includes sources for finding grant opportunities.
  • Media and Publicity (PDF): One of the keys to water quality success is publicizing your water quality monitoring work – and what you find. This 2-pager offers tips on working with the press.
  • Recognizing and Reporting Water Quality Problems (PDF): This 6-page fact sheet gives a quick overview of water quality problems you might encounter or your next Creek Freaks adventure and can help you be better prepared to identify any problems you encounter.
  • Safety and Fun in Your Watershed (PDF): This 3-page fact sheet offers quick tips on staying safe while working to protect your water resources, from first aid kits to snakes and ticks.
  • Ten Steps to Cleaner Water (PDF): This 6-page publication empowers readers with more in-depth steps they can take to conserve water and become advocates in their communities.
  • Understanding and Using the Clean Water Act (PDF): This 4-pager gives a brief overview of the federal Clean Water Act, including pollution sources, permitting, and protecting wetlands.


  • Critter Cubes Templates- Print-cut-tape-and play! Use this game to simulate biological stream monitoring.  Use with students before going outside to do an actual stream sample, or use indoors to simulate stream monitoring.  Make all three sets and discuss with students the differences between Good and Poor water quality! Adapted from the Holding onto the Green Zone Addendum pg.5  Don't forget to print the Tally Sheet!
  • Build a Model Watershed (PDF): This step-by-step guide explains in just 2 pages how to build a model watershed and offers a few talking points on how watersheds work.
  • Build Nets to Catch and Preserve Stream Insects (PDF): You can cut costs for your program by building your own bug-catching nets. This 2-pager offers step-by-step instructions on how to build two types of nets plus tips on bug preservation (although we prefer returning our bugs to the wild!).
  • Stream Creature Construction (PDF): Make your own macroinvertebrate using craft supplies!  Give it adaptations to survive in the wild.  Be sure to include features that allow it to feed, hunt, avoid prey, and find (or make) shelter! 

External Web Sites

  • Wasting Water Is Weird: This EPA-funded Web site takes on water wasters with Rip the Drip and offers easy tips to improve water use at home.