A girl wearing a yellow vest cleaning out trash with a net from Rocky Branch Creek.

A volunteer using a net to clean out trash from Rocky Branch Creek.

Stormwater Volunteer Spotlight: Alpha Phi Omega Fraternity

We interviewed Shelby Williford, a member of the Alpha Phi Omega co-ed fraternity at NC State University. The fraternity adopted a part of Rocky Branch Creek in 2016. Read about what Shelby has to say about her experience volunteering with the Stormwater Management Division.

Why did you become a volunteer?

The fraternity was founded on the principles of the Boy Scouts of America. So, I need to meet certain service and scouting hour requirements to stay in the fraternity. Scouting hours involve service projects that work with local scouting troops, kids who live in Raleigh, or that are focused on the outdoors. Adopting a stream is a perfect way to get those hours while also serving our local community.

Why did you choose to adopt this stream?

We chose Rocky Branch Creek because it is close to campus! We are able to bring a large group of brothers to our stream cleanup events. And, we can help protect a stream that’s right in our neighborhood.

Who cleans up the stream?

Brothers and pledges of Alpha Phi Omega! We bring as many members who want to participate and spread out to clean our entire section of the stream. There are 100 active members in the fraternity so we usually have a large group to get a lot of trash out of the stream.

How long have you done stream cleanups with your group?

We adopted Rocky Branch Creek in 2016. My first cleanup was in March 2020. We collected about 850 pounds of trash and had a blast participating! We plan to do another cleanup this fall when school is back in session.

What do you find in the stream?

My team pulled an entire lime scooter from the creek during our spring cleanup. And it still worked! We also see a lot of fast food containers.

What’s your favorite memory from a stream cleanup?

After our spring cleanup, we held a cookout in Pullen Park. It was a lot of fun being able to spend the morning doing service and then getting to enjoy fellowship with each other in the afternoon.

Why are stream cleanups important?

Stream cleanups are a great way to give back to the community while also being stewards of our planet. We help keep Raleigh beautiful while also being able to keep our streams and surrounding areas healthy.

Why should someone adopt a stream?

Adopting a stream gets you outside and it's a way to give back! You can physically see the difference you are making. It is extremely gratifying being able to look at 36 bags of trash and know that you did that. And, knowing that work will help protect our water resources.



Joyce Gaffney
Environmental & Sustainability Specialist 

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