I “Heart” Rivers, Lakes, and Streams… and I know that all of our Clean Water Raingers out there love them too!


I heart rivers, lakes and streams


Read the paragraph below.  It probably has some words you have not learned yet, so ask your parents to help.  They might also learn something new.


A babbling brook flowing through the hills; a meandering creek filled with crawdads; the trickle of a tiny stream winding its way through a field of native wildflowers; the confluence where a tributary joins the river; and the river making its way through the watershed, through hills and valleys, pastures and forests, under bridges and through a town built around it.


Do you know what I am describing?  I was sharing some of the names we use for the waterways in the Illinois River Watershed.


So…why does one person call it a creek and another a stream?  That’s a good question!

Below are the definitions as described in the online Merriam-Webster dictionary:

Table of DefinitionsWell, you just learned some watershed vocabulary and that should help you understand why people use multiple names for the smaller waterways.  The definitions are very similar and they are all smaller than a river.

No matter what name you use, you can enjoy the brooks, creeks, streams, rivers, and lakes in your watershed.  Here are some photos of kids doing just that. And Stay Safe Kids…make sure a parent or other responsible adult is with you anytime you are playing in or near the water.


Kids playing in the water


The map below shows the many waterways in the Illinois River Watershed.  Can you find a river near you?


Map of the Illinois River Watershed

Illinois River Watershed


We are so lucky to live here with plentiful water and, as good Clean Water Raingers, it is our responsibility to take care of it.  Always Remember To Keep It Clean!

Clean Water Raingers Logo


Related Posts:

Clean Water Raingers: WATERSHED Is Our Word for Today

Nature’s Classroom: The Water Cycle

Clean Water Raingers: Trees… Our Gift and Our Responsibility


Related Links:

IRWP: Clean Water Raingers Program