If you live in the Northeast Creek basin, it is easy to explore the creek and the watershed by exploring your neighborhood.
You can create an inventory of the plants that you find in your neighborhood, both the native plants and the ones that have been planted as landscaping. Landscape plants, like Japanese wisteria and mimosa can escape from yards and grow wild, a process known as naturalization. Some can become so successful that they are considered to be invasive.
You can create an inventory of the wild animals in your neighborhood, both the familiar ones and the ones you see on occasion or rarely. You can focus on mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, or other invertebrates. You can focus on the mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, or other invertebrates (especially the “aquatic macro-invertebrates” that are indicators of water quality).
Or you could investigate the local history of your neighborhood, tracing back the succession of communities from suburbs and exurbs of the Raleigh-Durham urban region to the rural communities of 50, 100, 150, 200, 250 years ago. Or you could explore your neighborhood for archaeological information for reporting to the North Carolina State Archaeologist. ( The North Carolina State Archaeologist office can link you to amateur and volunteer efforts to responsibly explore the pre-history of North Carolina.)
Whether you are interested in caring for your lawn or garden, or just curious, you can investigate the soils in your neighborhood.
If you are curious where the soils came from or just like collecting local rocks, you can explore the geology of your neighborhood. If you really like to get the big picture, you can explore the geological history of the triassic basins of the eastern United States.
There are special spots throughout the Northeast Creek watershed that have their own distinct characteristics. One site within the Parkwood neighborhood is the Euclid Road bamboo grove, a site that mixes the natural and cultural history of the Northeast Creek basin.