Headwaters Inc. is a non-profit community watershed organization in Letcher County, Kentucky. In response to water-quality concerns, community members formed Headwaters in 2005 to promote local water resource management and encourage stewardship of Letcher County waterways. After incorporation, Headwaters gained 501(c)3 nonprofit status in 2008. Since the founding of the organization, Headwaters has been led by an operating board of professionals from various parts of the county.
As a grassroots organization, our mission is to improve the watersheds in Letcher County through community education, access to timely and accurate water-quality information, and stewardship of local waterways.
We value a sustainable community who’s members are respectful, are knowledgeable and support:
– A healthy environment and economy through community determination and commitment to a strong work ethic.
– Empowerment through public access to accurate information.
– Honesty, integrity, and engagement among community members and our representatives for the betterment of our county.
We envision a community where members are committed to and take responsibility for clean water and a desirable environment necessary for a thriving and diverse economy based in responsible business and local investment.
-Partnership facilitation among volunteers of the Kentucky River Watershed Watch, Big Sandy Watershed Watch, Upper Cumberland Watershed Watch, students of the local high school, community members and leaders, and governmental officials of Letcher County.
Who We Are
Evan Smith- President
Evan helped form Headwaters while serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Letcher County: Head of Three Rivers project. Evan is an attorney at Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center in Whitesburg, KY where he represents coal miners and their families in black lung and mine safety cases. He also advocates for policy in those fields as well as broader issues of economic transition in the Appalachian coalfields.
Mimi Pickering is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and Director of the Appalshop Community Media Initiative. As CMI Director, Pickering leads Making Connections News, a multi-media collaboration with WMMT-FM exploring sustainable and just economic options for renewing Appalachia, and is a team leader for All Access EKY, a youth media initiative to increase access to the full range of reproductive health services in Eastern Kentucky.
Roy is a retired forensic engineer and now spends much of his time playing music.
Tom Sexton is a former Headwaters AmeriCorps VISTA who now works as the Eastern Kentucky Organizing Representative for the Cumberland Chapter of Sierra Club.
Eric Dixon is Coordinator of Policy and Community Engagement at Appalachian Citizens’ Law Center in Whitesburg, Kentucky. Eric coordinates ACLC’s efforts around abandoned mine reclamation and a Just Transition in Appalachia. He is also a member of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and serves on the board of the Highlander Research and Education Center.
Tarence Ray- Treasurer
Regina Donour- Secretary
Herb E. Smith
Garth Adams- Community Program Coordinator, AmeriCoprs VISTA
Garth began his AmeriCorps VISTA service with Headwaters in August of 2017. In his role as Community Program Coordinator, Garth has organized and been part of many activities that increase community involvement and educate the public about our waterways. His work includes teaching outdoor education classes at Letcher County Central High School, organizing stream cleanups, and assisting with water-testing efforts. Garth grew up in Letcher County and is a 2008 graduate of Letcher County Central High School. Being a VISTA with Headwaters has allowed Garth to positively impact his community.
Alex Beer- Watershed Coordinator
Alex served as a AmeriCorps VISTA for Headwaters for two years before taking on the role of Watershed Coordinator. In this position, she works with board members, community partners, and the Headwaters VISTA to carry out education programming and community watershed improvement efforts. Alex also handles day-to-day organizational operations like project management and fundraising.