Kelly Creek Stream Monitoring

  • Where: Nature at the Confluence
  • When: June 16, 2018 (11:00 AM) & August 11, 2018 (10:00 AM)

Join Welty at the Nature of the Confluence on June 16th to begin an exciting new citizen stream monitoring project fund by an Illinois American Water grant. On the 16th, visit the Welty Environmental Center booth at the Nature of the Confluence’s Season’s Opening Celebration to discover the function and importance of watersheds, how runoff water enters streams, and what you can do to prevent pollution.

At 11:00 AM, we will move to Kelly Creek to take control samples, creating a benchmark for comparison samples that will be taken August 11th at 11:00 AM. We will observe and record the type of plants, vertebrates, and invertebrates found in the stream. Then we will measure depth, rate of flow, and quality of water: oxygen, phosphate, nitrate, ph, chloroform, and turbidity. All ages can take part in some aspect of this study. (Direct Kelly Creek access may be limited to Welty staff.)

Kelly Creek is one of three Mississippi watershed tributaries that meet at Nature of the Confluence. The other two are Turtle Creek and the Rock River. The Rock River joins the Mississippi River at Rock Island, IL., which then empties into the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico located near New Orleans, LA. On a macro scale, the Mississippi Watershed is critical to the United States’s infrastructure and to the world’s economy. The water provides many economical and ecological services that deserve our attention and respect. The lists below are only a few examples that can be applied to all rivers:


  • Electricity
  • Drinking water
  • Irrigation for Crops
  • Recreation (boating, fishing, swimming, etc.)
  • Transportation


  • Delivery of nutrients downstream
  • Deposit of silt in deltas
  • Habitat for wildlife
  • Purifies water
  • Renewal of wetlands

Kelly Creek

On a micro level, Kelly Creek is critical to South Beloit, IL and the areas downstream of the Rock River; however, not much is known about Kelly Creek. The water of Kelly Creek is exposed on the west side of Highway 2, Blackhawk BLVD, at Nature of the Confluence. Three large storm drains guide the water under the road before it travels a relatively short distance joining with Turtle Creek and the Rock River.

It is our hope that by beginning to monitor Kelly Creek that we can better understand this small but critical tributary. So, make sure to put both June 16, 2018 and August 11, 2018 on your calendars now. You won’t want to miss the opportunity take part in the Kelly Creek citizen science project.