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Plaster Creek Stewards

A collaboration of Calvin College faculty, staff, and students working with local partners to restore Plaster Creek watershed.

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Education and outreach

Raising community awareness about the watershed through workshops, seminars, presentations, and volunteer workdays.

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Monitoring stream health through a research methods class, part of the Biology curriculum.

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Implementing on-the-ground habitat restoration throughout the watershed

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Plaster Creek Stewards

Working to restore health and beauty to the Plaster Creek Watershed

2018 Spring Event

Navigating the New Normal: Watershed Restoration in Context of Climate Change

Each Spring we gather with Plaster Creek enthusiasts to learn about and take action for the health and beauty of Plaster Creek watershed. Thanks to the many friends who came out on April 21st to plant a tree on Calvin's campus, make rain barrels, digs trees for potting, transplant 5,580 native seedlings, and repot saplings for the summer growth spurt. It is always encouraging to see people from all ages and neighborhoods coming together to learn and practice restoration. Stay connected for more events this summer and into the fall.

Get Growing! (volunteer opportunity)

Drop-in Mondays from 4:00pm-7:00pm or Fridays from 11:30am-5:00pm to our greenhouse on 3770 Lake Drive to learn about and help transplant some of the thousands of native plants needed in the restoration projects slated for this year and next. The native Michigan seedlings are ready to be transplanted to larger plug flats to grow their deep roots before being planted in rain gardens and native landscapes. These plants are important for filtering polluted stormwater, sequestering carbon, and providing diverse habitat for local pollinators and birds. Your help in the greenhouse is a vital step in producing the volume of plants needed for our projects in the Plaster Creek watershed each year. Drop-in and stay as your schedule allows, and bring a friend or two to catch up with while you care for our downstream neighbors. Questions or RSVP:

The Story of Plaster Creek Watershed

For an in-depth and interactive look at the our watershed, visit the Story of Plaster Creek Watershed and learn more about soils, landuses, issues that effect the water quality, and positve steps residents can take to help restore the watershed.

Giving Opportunity in Greenhouse Fund

greenhouse giving

Plaster Creek Stewards is outgrowing our greenhouse facilities! We are in desperate need of a new greenhouse to increase our capacity for growing native Michigan plants that are planted into green infrastructure projects in the Plaster Creek watershed. These greenhouses donít just grow plants but future stewards. This is where college students, high school Green Team students and many visitors come and learn about native plants and the roles they play in purifying stormwater in our landscapes along with providing food and shelter for pollinators and birds. These students of all ages, just like the plants we grow, head out into the community to make our landscape more sustainable, a healthier place to live, work and worship--a watershed in the restoration process.

Thanks to 65+ individual donars, over $20,000 has been raised. We hope to build the new greenhouse this spring and are so grateful for the outpouring of support from the community for this work. There are still costs that will spring up, so it isn't too late for interested people to give. Contributions of $10, $50, $1000, or more will help us cover costs that will occur over time! You can donate online by visiting our secure online donation site.

Or if you prefer, checks can be made payable to Calvin College with "Plaster Creek Stewards" on the memo line and mailed to:

Calvin College Development Office
104 Youngsma Center
Calvin College
3201 Burton SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546

Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to Plaster Creek Stewards and know how much we appreciate your valuable partnership in this work to restore health and beauty to the Plaster Creek watershed. We will keep you posted as construction begins.

Curb-Cut Rain Gardens for Plaster Creek.

These gardens are vital to restoring the health of Plaster Creek by catching rainwater off the road that would otherwise run into the stream with warm, oftentimes polluted, water. The Michigan native plants we use in these gardens are adapted to absorb and filter this stormwater with their deep roots and increase local biodiversity by attracting pollinators.

Homeowners in Oakdale, Garfield Park, and Alger Heights, who are willing to have a rain garden in their parkway and agree to maintain it after a few years of support from Plaster Creek Stewards, should email us at and include your...
1. Name
2. Address
3. Phone
4. Length and width in feet of the parkway within your property line.
5. If there are any "obstacles" present in your parkway (tree, Fire hydrant, underground sprinklers utility pole etc...)

We look forward to hearing from you!


New Rain Garden Maintenance Guide.

This guide is used to help homeowners maintain their new curb-cut raingardens through our current grants, but there is useful information in here for any native gardener. Also, feel free to join our Facebook Group: Rain Garden Maintenance to post questions and learn about caring for your native landscaped rain garden.




Read our Newsletter!Fall 2011 Newsletter


Love thy Downstream Neighbor: From Plaster Creek to the St. Lawrence River

Our fall event was Saturday, September 22 10:00am-12:30pm at the Bunker Interpretive Center.

View photos from the project or check out images from the presentation here, and view news coverage here.



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