Willow Creek restoration update

Willow Creek via the USGS

From The Mineral County Miner (Lyndsie Ferrell):

The Headwater Alliance and Willow Creek Reclamation Committee (WCRC) worked with local volunteers on April 27, to plant several willow trees in the floodplain located below Creede. The planting has been an ongoing project for several years. By utilizing willow plants, the organization enhances the natural ability the plant has to filter water through the root system and ultimately releases cleaner water into the creek.

According to Willow Creek Reclamation Committee Engagement Coordinator Laurel Smerch, on Saturday, April 21, in a partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, volunteers with the Headwaters Alliance and the Willow Creek Reclamation Committee came and harvested several willows. Colorado Parks and Wildlife will be expanding a boat ramp on the Rio Grande at the south end of Airport Road in Creede and allowed volunteers to come and collect parts of willows from the ramp location. The organization soaked the shoots for a week, developing root systems before placing them in the floodplain on Friday.

“The cool thing about willows is that if you cut part of it and put it in water for enough time, it will start to develop roots. Willows are also good at filtering water, making them especially useful in mine reclamation. We left these willows soaking in water for a week. On Friday, April 27, some volunteers came out and planted these willows on the floodplain, were they will do the important work of making the creek cleaner,” said Smerch.

The organization is also planning a highway cleanup day on May 21 and a creek cleanup day in June. Both efforts depend on the participation of local volunteers; the organization will welcome anyone wanting to help.

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