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About the
Mill Valley StreamKeepers

Our organization seeks to protect the ecological health, and the well-being of Mill Valley’s wildlife inhabitants while working to keep our watersheds and streams healthy and as natural as possible for the enjoyment of current and future residents. The organization was formed by community volunteers in March, 1998, to continue the efforts of the Mill Valley Watershed Project, which began in 1994. We focus on protecting and restoring Mill Valley’s eight-square-mile watershed area, including the city of Mill Valley, Richardson Bay and the unincorporated community of Homestead Valley.


The Mill Valley StreamKeepers strives to reach its goals by direct activities, including restoration projects, bi-monthly meetings, monitoring of creeks and property construction, clean-ups, newsletters, and communications with local and county agencies. An important means to accomplish our direct activities is by the education of the Mill Valley citizenry about Mill Valley’s network of streams, creeks, marshes, lakes and reservoirs, through such events open to the public as periodic creek walks, presentations to neighborhood associations and participation in public gatherings.


Who we are

The Mill Valley StreamKeepers is a 501 C-3 non-profit organization.


Our Board of Directors includes:

  • Betsy Bikle

  • Barbara Ford

  • Ann Fricker

  • Jan Mathews

  • Mike Mooney

Technical Advisor: Bill Kier, Fisheries Associates, Fisheries and Watershed Professionals

Get Involved

We invite you to share the StreamKeepers’ vision, enthusiasm and expertise in this field, to become aware of, and perhaps advocates for, this important aspect of the town’s quality of life, and to join in protecting and improving our environment, for Mill Valley’s current and future citizens, animals and plant life.


The Mill Valley StreamKeepers devotes much of its time to performing activities and projects that directly aid our watershed and the animals and plants therein, or educate the public in the care needed to protect and improve the environment of our creeks and waterways. Some projects are accomplished by the Mill Valley StreamKeepers alone and others are joint projects with other like-minded organizations or with the general public.


Following are some of the activities we accomplished during the past years:

  • Worked on an educational sign to be installed in four locations in Mill Valley. This project has been funded by the Marin Wildlife and Fisheries Committee.

  • Conducted Cleanup Days at Boyle Park and Park Terrace Park in conjunction with Bloomathon.

  • Collaborated with the Bay Model Association on a Mill Valley watershed mapping project. Funding came from the Marin County Clean Water Stewardship Project.

  • Donated three framed copies of the Mill Valley Watersheds Map to the City of Mill Valley, for display at the Library, City Hall and the Community Center.

  • Created a Mill Valley Stream Keepers display board which was shown at the Bay Model and Mill Valley Public Library.

  • Organized education walks in the watershed with city officials and the public.

  • Communicated and met with city planners and responded to land use plans with concerns for the health of the watershed.

  • Attended Planning Commission and City Council meetings and advocated for measures to ensure protection of riparian corridors and habitats.

  • Participated in Marin County and other Bay Area watershed programs.

  • Obtained non-profit status from the State of California.

  • Completely overhauled our web site.



Native Riparian Plants for the Corte Madera Creek Watershed and Mill Valley Creeks

The following plants are native to eastern Marin, and when planted in appropriate locations, should thrive without any maintenance after the first couple of years of periodic watering and weed control. In addition to salinity and shade considerations, some plants require moister soil than others, so should be located lower on the creek bank. Heavy soil can be fatal to some plants. Native plants have their own beauty, help to stabilize creek banks, and will attract birds and butterflies to your area. When ordering plants from a nursery, be sure to use the scientific names in addition to the common names. It may be hard to find suppliers for some of these plants.

In each group below, the list begins with larger species and progresses to smaller ones.


At high water level: Atriplex lentiformis, gumplant (Grindelia stricta), Marsh rosemary (Limonium californicum), alkali heath (Frankenia salina), perennial pickleweed (Salicornia virginica), fat hen (Atriplex triangularis), Jaumea (Jaumea carnosa), saltgrass (Distichlis spicata).
On levee slope: coast live-oak (Quercus agrifolia), valley oak (Quercus lobata), arroyo willow (Salix lasiolepis), toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia), coyote-brush, (Baccharis pilularis, upright form), California blackberry (Rubus ursinus), western goldenrod (Euthamia occidentalis), saltmarsh mulefat (Baccharis douglasii).
On adjacent filled marshland: buckeye (Aesculus californica), blue elderberry (Sambucus mexicana), sticky monkeyflower (Mimulus aurantiacus), in addition to those listed for levees.


Shade: giant chain fern (Woodwardia fimbriata), lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina), sword fern (Polystichum munitum), whiteroot sedge (Carex barbarae), vanilla grass (Hierochloe occidentalis), redwood sorrel (Oxalis oregana), redwood violet (Viola sempervirens), wild ginger (Asarum caudatum), and wake-robin (Trillium ovatum).
Note: coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) and California bay (Umbellularia californica) are relatively fast-growing trees native to this area, and may be planted in the shade. When mature, they can create deep shade which tends to limit understory plantings to those listed in this group.

Semi-shade: valley oak (Quercus lobata), coast live-oak (Quercus agrifolia), Oregon oak (Quercus garryana), white alder (Alnus rhombifolia), black oak (Quercus kelloggii), Oregon ash (Fraxinus latifolia), bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum), box elder (Acer negundo californica), buckeye (Aesculus californica), blue elderberry (Sambucus mexicana), osoberry (Oemleria cerasiformis), rose-bay (Rhododendron macrophyllum), western azalea (Rhododendron occidentale), coffeeberry (Rhamnus californica), hazel (Corylus cornuta californica), creek dogwood (Cornus sericea occidentalis), twinberry (Lonicera involucrata), ninebark (Physocarpus capitatus), flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum), California gooseberry ( Ribes californica), oregon grape (Mahonia nervosa), snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus var. laevigatus), thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus), wood rose (Rosa gymnocarpa), California blackberry (Rubus ursinus), and California pipevine (Aristolochia californica), reed grass (Calamagrostis nutkaensis), rush (Juncus patens, Juncus effusus), in addition to those listed for shade. Spice bush (Calycanthus occidentalis) is an attractive additional shrub, native to Napa, but not to Marin.


Relatively open areas: yellow willow (Salix lucida lasiandra), red willow (Salix laevigata), gray willow (Salix exigua), arroyo willow (Salix lasiolepis), toyon (Heteromeles arbutifolia), creambush (Holodiscus discolor), California rose (Rosa californica), and honeysuckle (Lonicera hispidula), California fescue (Festuca californica), in addition to those listed for semi-shade.


Nurseries selling native plants (retail and wholesale):

CNL Native Plant Nursery, 254 Shoreline Hwy, Mill Valley, CA 94941, 415-888-8471

California Flora Nursery, Fulton (707) 528-8813 CNPS, Marin Chapter, plant sales (415) 332-4117 Circuit Rider Productions, Windsor (707) 838-6641 Fairfax Lumber, Fairfax (415) 578-4430

Mostly Natives, Tomales (707) 878-2009
North Coast Native Nursery, Petaluma (707) 769-1213

O'Donnell's, Fairfax 453-0372
San Francisco Botanical Garden plant sales (415) 662-1316 Sunnyside Nursery, San Anselmo (415) 453-2701
The Watershed Nursery, Richmond (510) 234-2222
Yerba Buena Nursery, Woodside (650) 851-1668


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