Headwaters Alliance was formed in 2016 to continue the legacy of work and vision performed by the Willow Creek Reclamation Committee (WCRC) over the past 22+ years.  Established by Guinevere Nelson, the long time Executive Director of WCRC, Headwaters Alliance was established as a formalized non profit 501(c)(3) community based organization to ensure that ongoing community-driven work would have the formal infrastructure necessary to support an unflagging vision for environmental restoration in Mineral County.

Headwaters Alliance is proud to carry-on the vision of WCRC.  WCRC was established in the late 1990's at the request of the City of Creede Board of Trustees and the Mineral County Commissioners to advise and guide the community response to historic mining impacts in the beloved Historic Creede Mining District.  This  voluntary ad hoc committee of diverse and talented individuals, from within the County and across the state studied Willow Creek rigorously, collected high quality data, implemented thoughtful solutions, including the capstone project, The Lower Willow Creek Restoration Project from 2012 - 2019. 

The community legacy of independence and determination continues to this day! Headwaters Alliance is intent on working creatively and collaboratively with all the many vested partners and stakeholders to continue to address the environmental concerns within the Willow Creek Watershed and the glorious headwaters of the Rio Grande.

Our Mission

Headwaters Alliance will cultivate a sustainable environmental and economic future for the Rio Grande Headwaters through community engagement, restoration, education, and innovation.


Our Commitments

Partnerships. Headwaters Alliance seeks to maximize partnerships to create change by engaging the community in examining and addressing the drivers of environmental change for the social and economic benefit of every living thing. We want to collaborate with YOU!

Stewardship.  Our work will inspire stewardship in the hearts of every citizen and visitor such that the ecological integrity of the area is protected from profligate action, with the understanding the environmental and economic sustainability and resiliency can be mutually compatible.

Seventh Generation Thinking.  We believe the Creede community is dedicated to leaving a thriving Creede and Mineral County for our great grandchildren's great grandchildren. Therefore, we fearlessly engage in new and creative thinking and solutioning to foster the necessary social and economic changes to secure environmental health. 

Transparency. We acknowledge that some problems are complex, whether caused by environmental challenges, conflicting needs, financial constraints, power dynamics.  Yet, over and over, we see that when we move towards radical transparency, "the other solution" is more able to arise.  We are committed to practicing open communication, celebratory diversity of people and ideas through active practices of inclusivity and equity, remembering that all humans have the same basic needs while holding to humor, kindness, patience and grace.  

Fidelity to science.  We value the ethical sourced data and research, evaluated through principled discussion. 

Upstream Responsibility.  As Wendell Berry said, "Do unto others downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you."  As the community at the headwaters of the Rio Grande, we are committed to promoting practices, policies and strategies that ensure and preserve water quality and water quantity within a healthy, diverse, ecologically functioning system.

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