Programs and Events

Little River Watershed Association has a number of ongoing events and programs. We encourage you to get involved!


Click HERE for more information

You can also sign up to receive email notices HERE.



Stream School for Kids Program

Our Stream School for Kids is a free program for kids of all ages, and are funded by a grant from the Alcoa Foundation. Your kids will meet at a location in the Little River Watershed, where we will have experts in the field of water quality and stream ecology identifying critters and teaching everyone a thing or two about the Little River. One session includes a variety of activities like identifying fish, collecting macroinvertebrates, conducting water chemistry tests, calculating stream flow, and learning about stream bank habitat. Although the activities vary by teacher the concepts are similar for each session.  Your child will learn about how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are used for watershed protection plus they are guaranteed to get wet! These classes fill up fast so please make sure to check out event posts to find out time, dates, and more information. 

The Little River Corridor Project

The Little River Corridor Project is a joint project of the Little River Watershed Association (LRWA) and the Foothills Land Conservancy (FLC). This project is funded by a grant from the Alcoa Foundation. The grant’s objective is to provide educational information and tools to river front landowners interested in protecting the Little River both now and for generations to come. Examples of these efforts include:

• Educational Seminars and Materials on Conservation Easements. Conservation Easements are legal tool that allows property owners to direct future land use of their property after death or property re-sale.
• Educational Assistance and Materials on Stream Buffers. Stream buffers are vegetative zones that help protect both the integrity of the river banks as well as provide a mechanism for filtering pollutants from water entering the river.
These are two specific ways in which landowners can assure their positive impact to the Little River.

The project also funded the creation of an in-house Geographic Information System. This system is now used to identify and prioritize river land owner assistance efforts and to target our educational materials more effectively. Through these efforts, LRWA has been able to add significant content to the website. Citizens of Blount County and Friends of the River can now access specific graphical information about the river, the watershed, and the environmental characteristics of the Little River watershed.

This project has many added components that will benefit our educational outreach efforts over time.  See this PAGE for additional information about the Little River Riparian Corridor Project.

Streams Done Right

The Little River Watershed Association and the University of Tennessee Environmental Landscape Design Lab (sponsored by ALCOA Foundation) presented a “Streams Done Right: Picnic Seminar” series in Springbrook Park, Maryville, in September 2007. The program focused on managing stream buffers and what native plant species can be used to protect and preserve stream habitats on your property. Sam Rogers, Landscape Architect and Associate Professor of Plant Sciences and Director of the Environmental Landscape Design Lab at UTK led the seminars. A demonstration project in Springbrook Park is featured in this BlountViews article.

Pistol Creek Assessment

The LRWA teamed up with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to assess the water quality of Pistol Creek in a cooperative two year project. We worked with TDEC to set up sample locations and establish sampling procedures so that we could assist them by collecting the samples required to establish TMDL’s (Total Maximum Daily Load’s) for a number of chemical, bacteriological and physical parameters of Pistol Creek.

The outstanding team of volunteers from the community did a terrific job in properly collecting the water samples as well as other field data such as flow information, water temperatures, pH, dissolved oxygen and conductivity for use by TDEC water quality professionals.
Our volunteer sampling team saved TDEC a lot of time by collecting the samples, getting them to the laboratory and compiling the data. The data was reviewed by Jonathon Burr, the water quality professional from TDEC whose territory includes Blount County.
The parameters tested for included coliform bacteria, E Coli, nitrates /nitrites, biochemical oxygen demand, total suspended sediments, and other field parameters listed above. A summary of the project and results are inour Fall 2007 Newsletter.

Short Creek Restoration

Some of you folks out there helped us with another project — Short Creek which is a tributary in Townsend. We assisted TDEC in collecting some samples, doing a fish shock to complete a diversity assessment and identifying some water bugs. The result of all the information gathered from that effort is that Short Creek was removed from the list of “impaired” tributaries of the Little River on the TDEC 303(d) list. It is not always easy to identify the reason the levels of contaminants go down at a given location… maybe somebody implemented some farming best management practices or fixed their failing septic drainfield. We don’t always have all the information but we are real happy about these results. And, to whoever is out there that may have taken some of those steps, Kudos to you! You are officially a river-friendly citizen.   EPA’s summary of this delisting and other benefits of the Little River Watershed approach are in this PDF document.


Maryville/Alcoa/Blount County encourages local businesses, civil organizations, watershed groups, church groups, academic institutions, and scout groups to adopt local streams, rivers, and lakes for the purpose of managing litter along stream banks, shorelines, and in waterways. Download
guidelines and application form.