GOLD2023

WOLF CREEK COMMUNITY ALLIANCE

Grass Valley - A creek runs through It

aka Wolf Creek Community Alliance (WCCA)   |   Grass Valley, CA   |  http://www.wolfcreekalliance.org/

Mission

Our mission is to protect, preserve, and restore the Wolf Creek Watershed by increasing knowledge, appreciation, stewardship, and public access to the creek.

Ruling year info

2004

President, Board of Directors

Gary Griffith

Main address

PO Box 477

Grass Valley, CA 95945 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

71-0949200

NTEE code info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2022, 2010 and 2008.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Wolf Creek is a major tributary to the Bear River. It is 25 miles long, and its watershed encompasses 78 square miles. Because of the elevation, sun exposure, and variety of soils, the watershed once supported very productive and diverse ecosystems prior to the gold rush. Today, its interacting landscapes and creek systems carry a variety of pollutants, including toxic drainage from old mines and harmful bacteria. The people and the watershed served by Wolf Creek and its tributaries, long threatened by water and soil contamination from 19th century mining and industry, are now under even more pressure from 21st century urbanization - deforestation, loss of wetlands, impermeable surfaces, erosion, increased water usage, pollution, and climate change. The urban and mining-waste effluents that enter Wolf Creek and its tributaries affect downstream farmers who use irrigation water that comes from Wolf Creek. The watershed is the source of much of the human impact on the Bear River.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Outreach and Education

By actively reaching out to our community with factual information about problems in the watershed, and by partnering with other local organizations on restoration and preservation, we are increasing the public’s understanding of why watershed protection and stewardship is important to their lives, the impacts of climate change, and the myriad of ways to make a difference. We collaborate on projects with teachers at local schools whose students are learning about local area ecology and developing watershed awareness. WCCA volunteers staff booths at local events and organize public meetings on watershed topics, produce maps, display materials, videos, handouts, and coordinates the annual Know Your Watershed educational event co-hosted by watershed organizations throughout the Bear, Yuba, and American River watersheds, in order to engender long term commitment to watershed stewardship in our communities.

Population(s) Served
Adults

WCCA volunteers regularly monitor the condition of Wolf Creek to observe and record biological and other physical indicators of creek and riparian health, including testing for harmful bacteria and heavy metals from past mining. Recent tests have revealed unsafe concentrations of human caused fecal bacteria in a Wolf Creek tributary flowing through a Grass Valley public park, unsafe levels of arsenic upstream of a city park, and unsafe amounts of lead and cadmium in pre-school food gardens. These impacts are environmental justice issues as well because Grass Valley is a designated Disadvantaged Community, making free access to safe and healthy recreation in city parks even more essential. This activity is hands-on, conducted in the field at various outdoor locations, and provides the opportunity to learn about aquatic ecology, water chemistry, and the physical processes of streams. This long-term program is supported by donors and occasional small grants/subcontracts.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth

WCCA volunteers watch the City and County Development Review and Planning agendas for projects likely to impact Wolf Creek, and attend planning meetings in order to advocate for best practices in construction and landscaping - erosion and sediment control, creek setbacks and easements, riparian buffer zones, wetlands protection, storm water catchment, permeable surfaces, water conservation, wildlife habitat and trails.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Restoration & Stewardship: WCCA volunteers work on restoration and stewardship projects, helping to plant native and remove invasive non-native plants on public lands. WCCA volunteers work in conjunction with the Fire Safe Council's Scotch Broom Challenge in early Spring, and with the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) during its annual River Clean-Up. We have recently been entrusted with the preservation and management of acreage along Wolf Creek through a gift of a largely undeveloped 60-acre parcel. The property provides a rare example of the watershed as it would have existed before the region was developed. We are in the process of developing a management plan for the parcel, now named the Roy Peterson Wolf Creek Preserve, and we fully expect that, with WCCA stewardship, the Preserve will inspire appreciation in our community for the unique natural resources of the lower Wolf Creek waters. We are actively seeking funding for several planned restoration projects.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Gold was discovered in what is now Grass Valley in 1848. The mining that took place here until the last mines closed in 1957 released enormous amounts of toxic heavy metals that contaminated stream sediments from above Grass Valley to the San Francisco Bay. Some of these contaminants are still present at high levels in Wolf Creek and its tributaries. Urbanization has led to deforestation, erosion, impermeable surfaces, increased water usage, pollution, and artificial flows.
WCCA has produced a science-based disturbance inventory and assessment of current conditions in the Wolf Creek watershed, including legacy mining impacts and abandoned mine sites, land use and land cover, ecological conditions and hydrology, in order to: 1) identify critical problem areas for human health and environmental integrity; and 2) prioritize future restoration projects for revitalizing our highly impacted watershed. The Restoration Plan was funded by a grant from the Bella Vista Foundation.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Engender community stewardship of Wolf Creek and its watershed
Each year we hold 12 or more Restoration Team events on 3-4 project sites in the watershed. We hold creek clean-up events, work with schools on stewardship projects, create interpretive materials for trails and parks, stewardship materials for homeowners, and encourage best management practices for developers. We provide opportunities for people to learn more about and become good stewards of their watershed. We aim to teach people about the natural, cultural, and industrial history of the watershed.

Preserve and protect the integrity of the watershed
Our objectives address working with the City of Grass Valley, Nevada County, and the Nevada Irrigation District (NID), to protect the creek from development impacts, low water flows, pollution, including mining wastes and bacteria. Under this goal we aim to reduce the threats from climate change, in particular, building community resiliency from fires and drought. We promote good practices for homeowners and developers.
address Climate Change and build resiliency

Restore Wolf Creek to a condition of optimal health and integrity
Working from our Wolf Creek Watershed Restoration Plan we prioritize and implement projects, working with partners, that will improve the health of the watershed and the creatures that inhabit it.

Monitor the physical, chemical and biological conditions of Wolf Creek
WCCA has had a robust water quality monitoring program since 2004. Volunteers monitor 25 sites throughout the watershed. In this goal we look towards conducting new rounds of heavy metals testing, bacteria monitoring, and for fish and benthic macroinvertebrates surveys periodically.

Increase public access to the creek along trails, in parks, and preserves
In Goal 5, WCCA advocates for extensions on Wolf Creek Trail and works with partners at the Land Trust, the City and County and new housing developers to install trails and pocket parks along the creeks.

To thrive as an organization and thereby have a long-lasting presence and effect in the watershed
This goal is an internal goal to raise more funds, increase donations and cultivate donors, build contacts, write more grant proposals, increase capacity, create a new website, engage new demographics- primarily people of color and younger people, and build our programs.

1. Engender community stewardship of Wolf Creek and its watershed
a. Restoration Team holds at least 10 events a year to work on restoration sites on Peabody Creek and the Wolf Creek Trail
b. Host annual Wolf Creek Clean-up event in Sept and others when possible
c. Engage people in learning about plants and animals of the watershed
d. Create virtual educational videos and webinars for schools and other orgs- grant
e. Develop stewardship materials for homeowners and business with credentials- booklet
f. Develop Educational materials for developers
g. Promote interconnecting trails with partners and agencies
h. Fund and develop Know Your Watershed in the Schools program in 2-5 schools with stewardship component

2. Preserve and protect the integrity of the watershed
a. Work with City and County to enforce set back rules on all new projects
b. Provide workshop series (2-4) that address how to reduce impacts of Climate Change, in 2021
c. Take steps to ensure that there is guaranteed stream flow on main stem of Wolf Creek and South Wolf, South Fork Wolf Creek
d. Promote the stewardship of creek properties in 2021- update Stream Care Guide
e. Work with BYLT on plan to encourage creek/watershed property owners to consider conservation easements
f. Work with Safe Ditches to protect water sources for farmers
g. Create a watershed group/collective to lobby for watershed protection and preservation at State level

3. Restore Wolf Creek to a condition of optimal health and integrity
a. Identify sources of pollution and develop plan to improve water quality with partners over next 3 years
i. Identify local threats to water quality and watershed in educational materials and public programs
b. Work with partners to fund and initiate 1-2 new restoration projects from Restoration Plan
c. Identify and modify culverts so they are not barriers to fish and invert migration (work with City and County)

4. Monitor the physical, chemical and biological conditions of Wolf Creek
a. Continue to monitor all established sites and add 2 new sites
i. Create new Monitoring Plan in 2021
b. Conduct strategic bacterial monitoring at least 4 x a yr.
c. Find funding and set schedule for metals testing
i. Conduct metals testing below Brunswick and Centennial proposed mine sites for baseline data
d. Monitor for fish populations
e. Conduct flow studies and high-intensity storm events
f. Recruit and train at least 2-4 new monitors each year
g. Conduct BMI testing at sentinel sites every 2 or 3 years
5. Increase public access to the creek along trails, in parks, and preserves
a. Advocate for Wolf Creek Trail and work with the City of GV and BYLT
b. Develop Slide Creek Preserve
c. Develop and encourage public private partnerships that would lead to increased access to Wolf Creek
d. Work with BYLT on access points on acquired properties
e. Work with other organizations to establish local coordinated watershed signage
(see Strategic Plan)

WCCA is a small volunteer-run grassroots non-profit with big plans, and funding is always an issue. However, the leadership is strong. The WCCA Board of Directors is staffed by dedicated and energetic volunteers, all of whom are invested in our community and active in local civic affairs.

WCCA has 80-90 skilled and active volunteers who give generously of their time monitoring water quality and stream corridors, working on restoration and stewardship projects, working with schools and watershed partners, conducting public meetings and outreach events, bringing watershed advocacy to City and County planning meetings, serving on the Board of Directors and Advisory Board, fundraising, managing grants and contracts, maintaining the website and photo gallery, providing technical and administrative assistance..

*Water quality monitoring: Since 2005, WCCA volunteers have been monitoring water quality at sentinel sites on Wolf Creek and some of its tributaries including, when funded, laboratory testing for harmful bacteria, heavy metals from mining, the collection and classification of aquatic insects - key indicators of stream health - and stream corridor assessments. The collected scientific data helps to identify and address problems, disturbances, and contamination affecting the health of the watershed and that of all of its human and wild inhabitants. By the end of 2019, the WCCA water quality data will be transferred to a new, interactive database shared with two regional watershed organizations whose volunteers monitor water quality in the neighboring Yuba River and Deer Creek watersheds.

*Outreach: WCCA works to increase community understanding of problems in the watershed by tabling at local events, conducting public meetings on watershed topics, producing brochures, display materials, videos, maps, handouts, and an informative website. We have established relationships with teachers at local schools whose students are learning about local area ecology and developing watershed awareness. With the success of the 2018 Know Your Watershed event, 30 participant groups have signed on for the second annual Know Your Watershed event in April 2019.

*Restoration and stewardship: WCCA volunteers have done extensive GIS mapping of the Wolf Creek watershed, and were the driving force that led to the adoption of Grass Valley’s first riparian set-back regulations. Volunteers attend City and County Planning Commission meetings in order to advocate for regulatory controls, enforcement, and best management practices in construction and landscaping - erosion and sediment control, creek setbacks and easements, riparian buffer zones, wetlands protection, storm water catchment, permeable surfaces, water conservation, wildlife habitat, and trails. By early 2020, WCCA will have completed a 2-year project “Wolf Creek Watershed Disturbance Inventory, Assessment, and Restoration Plan”. In 2020, Phase II of the Peabody Creek Restoration Project will be completed with American Rivers and the City of Grass Valley as lead agencies. This project includes redirecting a Wolf Creek tributary into its historical stream bed, restoring 1.5 acres of wetland habitat, and improving storm water management to decrease flooding.

*Trails: WCCA volunteers were instrumental in the development of the Wolf Creek Parkway conceptual plan for a connecting system of walkable and bike-able trails along Wolf Creek through Grass Valley, and are working with the Bear Yuba Land Trust and the City of Grass Valley to advance those plans. In 2020, Phase I of the Wolf Creek Trail will be completed with the City of Grass Valley as lead agency. This project is for a 1.5 mile multi-use ADA public access trail on the downstream reach of Wolf Creek.

Financials

WOLF CREEK COMMUNITY ALLIANCE
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

WOLF CREEK COMMUNITY ALLIANCE

Board of directors
as of 09/30/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Gary Griffith

Science Teacher - retired

Term: 2022 -

Jonathan Keehn

Keehn Construction - Owner, Manager

Gordon Baker

Cornerstone Realty - Realtor

Jane Pelton

University research grants administrator, retired

Barbara Schmitt

Engineer

Gary Griffith

Science teacher

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/29/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Gender identity
Male

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data