Cleaning up our Waterways

volunteer clean watershed
In Jackson Creek, waste washes down near the Upcountry Community Center in Pine Grove.

In 2020, Foothill Conservancy formed the Watershed Protection Alliance, a team to map, study, and address potential water quality degradation related to waste along waterways in Amador and Calaveras counties. Along with our collaborators, ACES Waste Services Inc., Sierra Wind Wellness and Recovery Center, and community volunteers, we have removed over 120 cubic yards of debris in both Jackson and Pine Grove along Jackson Creek, and from Rock Creek, near Wicklow Way in Martel.  Stay tuned to our watershed news for forthcoming information on the next cleanup.

We are actively pursuing grants and other funding opportunities to support the project planning, water quality aspects, and on-the-ground

Volunteer poses at May cleanup in Pine Grove
Volunteer poses at May cleanup in Pine Grove

expenses, with plans to include collaborations in Calaveras County. To date, this project has been funded by your generosity through donations of funds and volunteer time and from businesses: Pine Grove Hardware, Ace Hardware in Jackson, and Walmart in Martel with contributions of trash bags, water, and gloves. We are grateful to the amazing community for investing in this effort.

volunteer clean watershed
Volunteers pose at the end of the cleanup.

A volunteer, when asked “What should the public know about our program?”, had this to say:

It is “a collaborative community effort to bring others together to help others, to learn about Foothill Conservancy and its mission in watershed/water quality issues, and to be a part of the solution. …because it feels good to accomplish something.”

If you would like to volunteer or learn more about the project please call us at 209-223-3508 or send us an email. You can also visit our website for more details on the Watershed Protection Alliance.


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Leslie Smith, Sutter Creek, CA: Raised in Washington State, Leslie is a happy California transplant having moved to Sunny Sutter Creek full time in 2020. As a nascent fly fisher and lifelong skier, she is committed to the natural environment and brings extensive organizational and finance experience to the board from a nearly 40 year career in banking.