Friends of Oak Creek

Friends of Oak Creek are the core volunteer force of the Oak Creek Watershed Council. They are the heart of all our work around the Oak Creek area.  If you are looking for a closer connection to your community and the environment, the Friends of Oak Creek are for you!

Friends of Oak Creek orchestrate creek and trailhead cleanups, make school presentations, assist OCWC staff in administrative tasks, collect water samples for our water sample studies (see link), participate in community events, conduct tabling/outreach in various on-site locations along the creek and work on numerous special projects that help keep our watershed clean.

Join us by signing up as a Volunteer Local and leave your legacy as a Friend of Oak Creek!

As a Friend of the Oak Creek Watershed, you have an important part to play in preserving this Legacy. The information provided in this Training section is intended to help you in that mission.

Archeological Training

Throughout the Oak Creek Watershed pieces of a rich human history can be found across the landscape. Taking care to recognize these pieces, makes certain that their story will be preserved and honored for generations to come. Archeological training assists volunteers in recognizing these artifacts so they are not mistaken for garbage. Please review these links and videos prior to your next litter lifting day in the watershed. We want to preserve the integrity of the entire watershed, environment and human alike.

Here is information about almost any kind of artifact online that can be searched:

Other interesting sites:

The following video is of a presentation from a Cultural Resources Workshop about historic archaeology. There are other interesting videos available from this website as well:

Narrow-Headed Gartersnake Training

The non-poisonous and very rare Narrow-headed Gartersnake lives in the cool, clear waters of Oak Creek. They have a dark grey, stripe-less back and recognizable “narrow” head. Their rapidly declining populations may be attributed to high recreational use, habitat alteration, poor water quality and the introduction of non-native fish. Remember, do not pick up or touch these creatures, their extreme fear of humans often leads to hyperventilation and death.

A team of researchers at Northern Arizona University are conducting a citizen scientist campaign for reporting these sensitive species.

To become a citizen scientist, you can link into the Project Noah Gartersnake App and report any sightings.

Hazardous Materials Training (HazMat)

During routine litter lifting in the Oak Creek Watershed, volunteers should be aware of potential hazards to their health and take necessary steps to avoid them. Hazardous materials exist due to humans desire to have a more comfortable lifestyle. From the most common products like oil and petroleum to noxious mixtures made in clandestine drug-labs, this information serves as an opening to a general awareness for anyone enjoying the outdoors.

Please review the Clandestine Laboratory Awareness/Meth Labs information found HERE.

First on Scene / First Aid Handout HERE.


HazMat is “any substance that jumps out at you when something goes wrong and hurts or harms the things it touches.” –Benner

– Pollute the environment
– May pose health risk to public
– May require specialized clothing
– May require specialized clean-up


Do not go near them or touch them under any circumstances! Proper authorities should determine what the substance is. You should not endanger yourself or others by trying to decide if a substance is hazardous.

Please contact your nearest Forest Dispatcher and report the location. If the Forest Dispatcher cannot be reached, please call the sheriff or police department. It is important that you describe to the best of your ability, where the substance was found. Do not take a sample!

24/7 Dispatch (928) 526-0600