Here’s an in-depth look at the Willow Creek Project from Gwen Nelson writing for the Valley Courier. Click through and read the whole article. Here’s an excerpt:
The Willow Creek Reclamation Committee’s mission is to improve water quality and habitat, reduce flood risks, reclaim areas impacted by mining, and preserve historic structures in the Willow Creek watershed in ways that are practical, cost effective, and beneficial to the economic sustainability of the Creede community.
The group follows the set of core goals developed by the Willow Creek Reclamation Committee. These goals are:
* Protect the Rio Grande from future fish kills associated with nonpoint source releases during unusual hydrologic events
* Improve the visual and aesthetic aspects of the Willow Creek watershed and its historical mining district
* Implement appropriate and cost-effective flood control and stabilization measures for nonpoint sources
* Protect and preserve historic structures
* Reclaim the Willow Creek floodplain below Creede to improve the physical, chemical, biological, and aesthetic qualities of the creek as an integral part of the local community
* Continue to improve water quality and physical habitat quality in the Willow Creek watershed, as part of a long-term watershed management program.
One way that these goals get accomplished is through five gallon buckets and a few hardy volunteers. That is what has worked for the Willow Creek Reclamation Committee to improve water quality in Willow Creek for the last 15 years. The large buckets that are controlled by excavators or carried by dump trucks are effective in completing large projects. But the continuous and sometimes tedious tasks carried out by this watershed group require small buckets and volunteers.
The Willow Creek Project is a testimony to the grit and determination of a group of citizens who wanted to retain the independence and self-determination to decide how to clean up a small mountain stream that flows through their town. Their spirit and resolve have drawn a wealth of outside resources to their cause, and have allowed them to succeed beyond their wildest imagination.
More restoration/reclamation coverage here.