To stop salt from washing into Sligo Creek, on March 16th some unusual road salt warriors got busy picking up leftover road salt nuggets in the nearby park after school. These 4-5 year olds from Acorn Hill School began looking for excessive salt right after Friends of Sligo Creek (FOSC) volunteer SaltWatch tester Lauren Chitwood Schauf and her daughter told them they were headed to Sligo Creek to test for salt because some may have washed into the creek after the snow storm.

According to Lauren, the kids noticed the salt in the park and immediately put together the wider picture that rain was expected that night. They began to collect salt because they said were worried it would wash into the creek or soak into the ground and hurt the plants. They were quite thorough and did not want to leave until it was all collected. FOSC salutes these SaltWatch Heroes at Acorn Hill School for helping to protect Sligo Creek!

FOSC piloted two Road Salt initiatives this winter season. More than 20 SaltWatch volunteers tested the creek before, during and after “snow events” for which salt crews had treated the roads. Other residents reported excessive road salt piles in the Sligo watershed to FOSC which coordinated removal by the County. FOSC is using salt testing kits provided by the Izaac Walton League.

Road salt affects our drinking water, and harms creek flora and fauna, especially fish, frogs and salamanders which are particularly sensitive to salt levels. Find out more about the impact of salt on plants, animals and humans on the FOSC Road Salt page. The data from testing this season will be posted on the Road Salt page later this spring.

Interested in participating next year? Let the Water Quality team know at [email protected]. They will contact you next Fall as the program gears up for a second successful season.