The Watershed Alliance of Sandy Springs and 5 members of the Leadership Sandy Springs’ Class of 2015, hope you will join us when we announce the winners of the first Stream Photo Contest and present their prizes on Sunday August 30th, 2015 at the Morgan Falls Overlook Park Pavilion starting at 4:00 p.m. Winning entries will be featured in a publication of WASS photo calendars and note cards, available for purchase at the awards ceremony, the 2015 Sandy Springs Festival and throughout the year. It is the hope of WASS that the calendar will help raise awareness of this valuable but fragile resource residents have in their backyards.

The creative and artistic entries showcase the quiet tranquility of the streams that weave their way through Sandy Springs. Residents fortunate enough to live near one of these streams will appreciate the waterscapes captured in the photographs.  Bring your friend, congratulate the winners and learn the stories behind these serene and fun photos.

UPDATE: Now in the last month of our Creek Photo Contest. If you haven't visited a local stream and snapped a pic, now's the time! Photos remain property of photographers; those with winning entries will be awarded prizes, and 12 photos will be selected for publication in a 2016 calendar to be sold at the Sandy Springs Festival in September.

Photos must be shot within the city boundaries on Nancy Creek, Long Island Creek, Heards Creek, Colewood Creek, Marsh Creek, Sullivan Creek, or Crooked Creek, and the entry deadline is July 31, 2015. Anyone may enter the contest. All photos must be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Contestants may submit as many photos as they choose but only one photo per email. Please include an address or location coordinates of the photo and your age. For more information, visit the link below.


WASS President Sherry Epstein set the tone for the evening at the Sandy Springs Community Forum on June 23, organized by the city in advance of beginning the process of updating the comprehensive plan. Also present were the heads of several local non-profits. Her remarks, reflecting the collaboration of many members, stressed the importance of cooperation and balance: balance between preservation of established neighborhoods, protection of natural resources (watersheds, tree canopy, green space) and responsible commercial development; cooperation between civic organizations and the need for city support of all the valuable civic programs.

A beautiful connection was made at one of The Civic Roundtable of Sandy Springs monthly meetings. 

It was there that the Watershed Alliance of Sandy Springs met Horizons, a summer camp that meets at Holy Innocents.  A plan was hatched to get the children of Horizons, all 120 of them from K-8 for a one day blitz to learn all we could teach them in one day about where their water comes from, and how to be good stewards of our streams and river  so there will always be water in the taps for them to drink.

Watershed Alliance reached out to Sharon Smith with Adopt-A-Stream and she said that she had a team and would love to arrange the instructors and facility for our event. She contacted the Johns Creek Environment Campus and they were thrilled to host the event.

The Team included representatives from the Metropolitan North GA Water Planning District, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, Johns Creek Environmental Campus, Chattahoochee Nature Center, and the Fulton County Water Resources team led by Sharon Smith with Adopt-A -Stream.  They put together an exciting day for all grade levels that was full of learning that was fun. 

This was a great group of kids that were so well behaved and cooperative. 

This project is another example of how water brings people together and how Watershed Alliance of Sandy Springs works together with other agencies and academic institutions to help our young people understand the importance of protecting this resource that we all depend on in order to live. 

For more information check out:


Watershed Alliance of Sandy Springs (WASS) is inviting the community to enter a photo contest. Photographers with winning entries will be awarded prizes and 12 photos will be selected for publication in a 2016 calendar to be sold at the Sandy Springs Festival in September. 

Photos must be shot within the city boundaries on Nancy Creek, Long Island Creek, Heards Creek, Colewood Creek, Marsh Creek, Sullivan Creek, or Crooked Creek, and the entry deadline is July 31, 2015.  Anyone may enter the contest.  All photos must be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Contestants may submit as many photos as they choose but only one photo per email.

The calendar project is co-sponsored by individuals from Leadership Sandy Springs class of 2015, in particular Jack Misura, Ed Steele, Sean O'toole, Cheryl Lietz and Anne Boatwright.   Many thanks to Dignity Memorial at Arlington Memorial ParkUnited Consulting and W Landscaping Design for their financial contribution to publish the calendar and ShowCase Photo and Video for donating prizes for the contest winners.

Please include an address or location coordinates of the photo and your age. 

So that we can verify that your photo was taken within city boundaries, per our contest photo rules, we require contestants to enter their location coordinates, which we will make easy for you with these simple directions:

The coordinates are a set of numbers that look like this (example):  33.921051, -84.391407, which you will copy and paste into Google Maps and can be derived from Google Maps by 'right-clicking' on the spot on Maps and selecting "What's here?".  Copy those coordinates in the upper left box and paste into your reply. Here are the steps:

Steps to capture location coordinates:

  1. Open Google Maps
  2. Enter your address
  3. Click the place you took the picture (a little grey marker appears. May take a couple of 'clicks'.)  or Right-click, "What's here?"
  4. In the upper left-hand corner, the location coordinates will appear.
  5. Copy the coordinates (most people know how to do this so no need to explain) and paste into your email which has the photo (should the photo be an attachment? or maybe it doesn't matter as long as you can retrieve it...)
  6. Send to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  7. Good luck!

Creek Photo Inventory

The new WASS project, a Creek Photo Inventory, has the objective of assisting the City and homeowners in identifying areas where stormwater run-off has damaged the creek bank or tree roots, locate broken sewage pipes, locate private drain pipes, identify and locate downed trees for removal and fix locations of point-source pollution.

This is a new initiative which could become an ongoing service similar to the City's Citizen Patrol only with a focus on protection of the watershed.

Learning Objective: 

  • Field survey planning
  • Team coordination
  • Data quality control and organization
  • Community awareness and service
  • Use of technology to journal field observations.  
  • Use of web-publishing technology for field surveys
  • On-line publishing (blog results)
  • Presentation skills.  


  • Comprehensive survey of all creeks and point-source sites
  • City gains better understanding of creek conditions
  • Student credit (based on number of approved field photos/observations.)

Here are 2 links to view photos from our project with an adjacent map that identifies the location of the activity.

Map view (zoom to see creeks/streets) 

Album view

WASS Honored

WASS is honored to be this year’s recipient of Kennesaw State University’s GIS (Geographic Information Science) Engagement Award.  The award signifies the community partnership between an individual or organization and the GIS  program, that results in a mutually beneficial outcome.  Specifically, WASS was nominated and awarded the Engagement Award because of its ongoing relationship with the GIS program (at KSU) through the Watershed courses co-sponsored by WASS.

Last year's  winner of the GIS Engagement Award was Etowah Valley Historical Society.

GIS Day is held annually, the third Wednesday of November, during Geography Awareness Week.  The first GIS day was held in 1999 and in 2005, more than 750 events were held in 74 countries around the world.  

WASS is very honored to be this year’s recipient.  We look forward to many more years of educational activities and real world data collection that occurs in the affiliation with KSU.  It has been a rewarding experience for all involved.

New Leadership

The presidential baton has been passed. WASS welcomes Sherry Epstein as our new president and thanks Dick Farmer for his years of dedicated service.

Sherry has been secretary for WASS this past year and brought a very creative and enthusiastic vitality to our board. Her tenure as president looks to be focused on encouraging citizen participation and expanding WASS activities.

Dick has served Sandy Springs citizens and WASS many years through his extensive scientific knowledge and love of teaching. His ability to write grants brought financial resources that allowed WASS to provide onsite water quality testing. His move to Roswell is their gain and our loss but we think we can still “tug at his heart strings.” Remember, Dick, we’re just across the river!

As we move into this new era, we welcome everyone’s involvement in protecting our precious streams, river and watersheds.


WASS' rain collection project provides us with real time data on the rain fall in our watersheds.  With increased citizen participation and consistent reporiting over time we hope to have sufficiet data to analyize the impact to our streams.  WASS's rain gauges and the particpation of dedicated citizens gives us this necessary data. If you are collecting information for this project, go to  to enter your data.  If you have photos or videos of how the rain impacts our streams, share them on the WASS Facebook page.  To see results of the rain gauge collection data, go to

Advocating for Environment

At the August 6, 2014 meeting held by the Sandy Springs City Council to inform the public on proposed Natural Resources City Ordinances, Patti Berkovitz, representing WASS, spoke up endorsing the need for increased stringency of the ordinances and their consistent enforcement. Here is the link to the full article.

KSU Presentation

Thanks to the KSU students for their very informative presentation on their work in Marsh and Long Island Creeks. This is the 4th consecutive year that the students, in conjunction with WASS, have tested the same sites at the same time of the year. The accumulative results from their efforts can be found at In addition to testing the health of the creeks they also did a study of the tree canopy of Sandy Springs. Information on that is forth coming.

WASS looks forward to continuing this rich experience for the students and the citizens of Sandy Springs. As one student said, “This has been the most instructive course I’ve taken.” Certainly the information they obtain provides all of us with crucial independent data on which development and planning decisions can be made.

The Sandy Springs Reporter wrote an article on the presentation.  It and a participant photo can be found at:

E Coli Danger Averted

SERIOUS E COLI CONTAMINATION FOUND IN MARSH CREEK by KSU students in their stream water cleanup and “snapshot of stream” health project sponsored by and organized through Watershed Alliance of Sandy Springs. Please join WASS and the KSU students to learn more about the health of our streams and watersheds on Tuesday, June 26 at 6:00 pm at the North Fulton Annex at 7741 Roswell Road. KSU students will present all their findings of their 2014 project (including this serious contamination).  

On May 22, 2014 at a site on Mabry Road, water sample tests showed e coli readings of 36,350 MPN. The high end of the acceptable range for urban streams is 1000 MPN. EPA Standard is 126 MPN for healthy use. WASS immediately contacted Fulton Co and the city of Sandy Springs about this significant health risk and notified nearby residents to stay out of the creek until the source was found and remedied. Fulton Co found a manhole overflow and possible weeds invading the pipe about 2,500 feet upstream from the collection site.  It was on an unnamed tributary to the left as you walk up stream.  Fulton notified EPD and are using a camera to check inside the buried pipe. Enzymes were dispensed to neutralize the contamination. As a result, when WASS and the KSU students retested the 2 sites on June 12, 2014, the numbers were down to 720 from 36,350 at one site and 655 from 24,420 MPN.

Thanks to all the coordinated, and watchful activities of WASS, KSU, and the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, the authorities were able to avert a possible serious health problem. New water samples will be collected soon to assure the situation is stable. This is just one example of how WASS, with your help, can protect our precious resources.

The Watershed Alliance of Sandy Springs, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining the ecological balance of the watersheds of Sandy Springs, GA, through education and stream monitoring.  Our goal is teo foster the preservation, character and integrity of the watersheds.

After 10 years of advocating and educating, our mission has expanded to include all 6 watersheds in Sandy Springs.  We welcome the involvement of all citizens.

All property in Sandy Springs is part of a watershed.  

The six watersheds in the City of Sandy Springs are:

Nancy Creek, 4,567 acres
Long Island Creek, 4,224 acres
Heards Creek,4,130 acres
Marsh Creek, 3,606 acres
Sullivan Creek, 4,567 acres
Crooked Creek, 4,342 acres

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