HWA organizing two cleanup days in May


CREEDE — Headwaters Alliance (HWA) is asking for volunteers to help clean up Highway 149 on the east side of the floodplain on May 5 and the Lower Willow Creek Floodplain on May 8.

The melting snow always reveals both burgeoning buds of growing plants and less-desirable cans and litter.

The floodplain still has debris from the high-water event in 2019 and the highway has the latest collection of unwanted pants, gloves, wrappers and plastic bags. 

“As much as we enjoy getting outside and sprucing up these places, it’s important to know that the majority, if not all of the debris and trash can be prevented,” organizers stated. “Residents and business owners in Creede have the responsibility to dispose of waste properly — in trash cans and dumpsters with lids that don’t allow things to blow away. If items do escape, let’s pick them up and put them back in the garbage can.”

The cleaning events are not solely inspired by the arrival of Spring and buildup of trash. The City of Creede designated May 5 as Willow Creek Day thanks to the dedicated work by the Willow Creek Reclamation Committee.

“What better way to celebrate than to give the area a proverbial Spring cleaning for two days, and prevent the problem as best we can for the rest of the year,” organizers stated. 

Highway 149

  • 8:30 to 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 5. Meet at the Kentucky Belle parking lot. Wear good shoes and a mask, bring gloves and a smile. Trash bags and reflective vests will be provided.


  • 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, May 8. Meet at the Airport Corner parking area. Residents of Creede are all indebted to Erin-lynn Keech who has been consistently picking up garbage and sorting larger debris on the floodplain. Her dedication makes the cleanup far easier. For the event, have a mask, hat, sunscreen, good protective shoes, gloves and a smile. Trash bags and reflective vests will be provided. Heavier materials will be loaded onto a trailer or truck bed.

Highway 149 and the floodplain are the first thing visitors see when they enter Creede — a sort of welcome sign. A lot has been happening on the floodplain recently including a soon-to-be-finished design by Matrix Design Group to create a connected, functioning floodplain from the flume to the Rio Grande. The new design will include a stream channel that can withstand the pressures of 100-year floods, habitat for plants and animals and energy dissipation at the flume exit.

Both events are weather dependent given that May can be unpredictable. Stay tuned to headwatersalliance.com or facebook.com/headwatersalliance for the latest information. And be on the lookout for more volunteer opportunities from HWA, such as willow planting, dark sky measurements and helping with the Runoff Runoff Marathon.

Additionally, HWA is partnering with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC) this summer and will be offering Crew Leader Training July 17-18. Participants will learn techniques for leading groups and obtain skills to help care for and restore natural places.

Contact Alex Handloff at coordinator@headwatersalliance.org, for more information.