Our mission is to preserve, restore, and celebrate the rich natural, cultural, historical, spiritual, and educational values of the headwaters of the San Antonio River, especially within the 53-acre Headwaters Sanctuary. Headwaters is a non-profit sponsored Earth care ministry of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word. Headwaters is adjacent to but not part of the University.

This is our vision for the Headwaters: The Headwaters Sanctuary at Incarnate Word is widely revered as a beautiful, quiet, historic sanctuary at the headwaters of the San Antonio River with the Blue Hole spring as its centerpiece. Headwaters is protected by the Sisters of Charity, and is free and open to the public. Walking trails invite exploration of the Sanctuary and connect it to adjacent parks and natural areas. The river is connected from its historic source at the Blue Hole to the southernmost Mission, Mission San Francisco de la Espada . Interpretive signs and educational programs reflect on the area's ecology, hydrology, history, and prehistory. Appropriate scientific inquiry benefits nearby universities, schools, and visitors. The Sanctuary is a safe haven for native plants, animals, and city-weary souls. A growing community of volunteers contribute countless hours to restoring as much of its native biodiversity as possible. They discover that in working to heal the land, we heal something deep within ourselves. Exploring our spiritual connection to Earth fosters a greater appreciation for nature and our moral obligation to Earth care. Headwaters is a place with a mission.

Our main goals are:

  1.  Establish a sanctuary for all Creation
  2.  Restore health to the Sanctuary's land and waters
  3.  Offer the gifts of education and spiritual reflection
  4.  Share the stories of this place and its people
  5.  Connect the Blue Hole and Sanctuary to the community by way of the "Spirit Reach" of the San Antonio River