The twenty streams that wind through Lexington play important roles in our community, moving and cleaning water, providing wildlife habitat, creating wetlands, and serving as aesthetically pleasing places to visit.
All of Lexington's streams start within the bounds of Lexington and flow outward to other communities in three major watersheds - the Charles River Watershed, the Shawsheen River Watershed, and the Mystic River Watershed. As they flow through these urban areas, the streams face challenges from stormwater run-off and other factors.
Lexington's Conservation Division, Engineering Division, and a group of citizen volunteers work together through the Watershed Stewardship Program to monitor and tend to the health of our streams. The program recruits volunteers to conduct observational stream surveys on all of Lexington's streams to develop a better understanding of the issues that affect their health and function. Follow-up efforts to these surveys includes outreach and education projects, stream clean-ups, and water quality monitoring.
Check out our report from the Vine Brook and Willard's Brook surveys>>
Learn more about stormwater run-off>>
Storm Drain Marker Installation Project
In the spring of 2011, Lexington's Watershed Stewards installed storm drain markers in Lexington Center in order to educate residents and visitors about the connection between streams and storm drains. Look for the round, green markers that say "Don't Dump, Drains to Stream" throughout Lexington Center. Future installations will focus on other neighborhoods and areas throughout town.
Check out the resources below for more information on storm drain marking:
Storm drain marker article>>
Storm drain marker flier>>
Storm drain marker poster>>
If you would like to help to coordinate a storm drain marker project in Lexington, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watershed Stewards mark a storm drain in Lexington Center with a new storm drain marker.
Water Quality Monitoring
Watershed Stewards, along with with the Engineering and Conservation Divisions, have developed a volunteer-based water quality sampling program to inventory and monitor outfalls throughout town. Volunteers locate and assess pipes draining into streams, test for ammonia (a screening test for bacteria), and observe physical indicators, such as sewage smells or unnatural colors. When problems are identified, they are reported to the Engineering Division for follow-up work. Read more about the program>>
Clematis Brook running through Dunback Meadow conservation area