What do Headwaters’ volunteers do? 

As stewards we do many things to help heal this land. We remove invasive plants to make room for a variety of native ones, which improves ecological health. We do this with hands, handsaws, root wrenches, and chainsaws.  We haul the cuttings into piles by the trails.  We run the cuttings through a wood chipper.  We put the wood chips on our trails - a form of recycling!  We manage existing trails and make new ones. We grow native plants from seed in the greenhouse, and plant them in the Sanctuary. Sometimes we just pick up trash. When you come, we could be doing any or all of these things depending on who shows up, what their interests are, and what needs to be done in the Sanctuary that day. We also enjoy time together in nature. You'll learn about ecological restoration, the natural and cultural heritage of the Sanctuary, and how we can all be better stewards of the Earth.

learn about our circle of the springs garden and how you can help


How should volunteers prepare? 

Dress for the woods -- long pants and closed toe shoes or boots.  We supply gloves, equipment, snacks, and water in a 5-gallon cooler; we ask that you bring a reusable container for water that you can refill from our water cooler (We never supply water in plastic bottles).


Where do volunteers meet? 

There is no street address; GPS coordinates are 29.4697, -98.4709.  You can park there; we'll give you a permit if needed.  To enter the Sanctuary, you can take the route marked with a solid line on the driving directions map below. Take the entrance ramp onto Rt. 281 North; but do not get on Rt. 281!  From the entrance ramp, take a right turn into the University of the Incarnate Word.  Next, at the stop sign, turn left and stay left until you pass the baseball fields on your right.  On the left, you'll find us at the picnic tables near our tool shed, with its "Welcome to the Headwaters" banner. If you are approaching the UIW natatorium, you have gone too far. To exit the Sanctuary, follow the same route back towards 281, but do not take the access road! Instead, continue up the hill on the route marked with a dotted line, and exit onto Hildebrand Avenue.

You can also enter and exit the Sanctuary following the dashed-dotted route along Hildebrand Avenue. Enter the Incarnate Word campus via Hildebrand Avenue at the traffic light. Drive east, turn right at the top sign, continue and cross the bridge, drive around the UIW athletic complex until the baseball and softball fields are on your left. The trailhead will be on your right. You may exit the Sanctuary following the same route.

If you have an interest in a special volunteer or group volunteer visit, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Howard Homan, at howard.homan@gmail.com. 

Map with driving directions to the Headwaters Sanctuary. Click the image to enlarge.