What We Do

Appalachian Headwaters is a non-profit organization created in 2016 to improve streams, forests, and communities throughout central Appalachia.

We work with leading academic experts, engineers, coal mining companies, community groups and landowners to re-establish productive native hardwood forests and restore water quality on abandoned mountaintop removal and other large-scale surface mining sites. In the wake of recent coal operator bankruptcies, it is necessary for our communities to reclaim the polluted water and land left behind by these destructive mining practices. 

We will cultivate commercially viable forests composed of native hardwoods where only grass or invasive plant species will now grow. Our projects will improve degraded mountain streams so they can support the sensitive aquatic life that once thrived here. Our work has potential for agroforestry and other sustainable economic activities. Over time, we will help our communities to reclaim scarred mountains and impaired streams across our region,

Headwaters is also developing a regionally-focused economic and workforce development program to grow an apiculture and native plant horticulture industry in central Appalachia. The program will train southern central Appalachia’s displaced and underemployed workforce in the skills necessary to become apicultural and horticultural entrepreneurs, empowering workers to participate in lucrative, sustainable industries including honey production, bee colony sales, and native plant cultivation for both restoration industries and landscaping purposes.