Completed Projects

Our Missouri Waters

Completed 2016

On May 1st, 2015 the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks was awarded the Our Missouri Waters Collaborative effort for the Sac River Watershed through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The goal of this project was to gather local input and identify water resource priorities through

community meetings. A local watershed advisory committee was assembled to identify and develop resources to achieve those priorities. Citizens,

community leaders, elected officials and anyone living in the watershed were invited in this process to share how they use their water and what’s needed to continue protecting and enhancing the Sac River watershed.

The grant was completed on October 31st 2016. The survey results, summary of the process and committee recommendations are outlined in the Sac River Healthy Watershed Plan found here. The plan will be a living, working document to help maximize resources and focus watershed priorities over the next five years.  Thank you to everyone that served on the committee and helped with this project! To learn more about the Our Missouri Waters statewide initiative visit:


Department of Natural Resources

Community Innovation Grant

Project Completed 2016

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks awarded Watershed Committee of the Ozarks and the Missouri State University Bull Shoals Field Station (BSFS) an $11,000 Community Innovation Grant to bring the Leopold Foundation to both the Watershed Center and BSFS to hold a Land Ethic Leaders workshop.  The workshop will help participants develop their own land ethic and explore tools and methods for fostering conservation in communities locally and across the state.  The workshop was held in November of 2016.

DNR 319 Source Implementation Grant (BIG URBIE)

Project Completed 2015

The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks has been awarded a Section 319 Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The grant total award will be $1,000,000 applied over four years (2012-2015) toward stormwater best management practices to reduce nonpoint source pollutants in Springfield and Greene County. A variety of water quality improvement projects including rain gardens, rainwater harvesting, native vegetation, vegetative filters, infiltration trenches, streetscapes projects, riparian restoration projects and retrofits of standard detention basins will be implemented in four targeted sub-watersheds; Jordan Creek, Fassnight Creek, South Creek and Pea Ridge Creek. The project name is the Springfield/Greene County Urban Watershed Stewardship Project, which has been dubbed the Big Urbie.

In April 2013, WCO was awarded an additional $100,000 grant funds which will be matched with $66,667 in matching funds. The award will allow more stormwater improvement projects to be completed.

The Section 319 grant implements stormwater improvement practices that reduce and treat runoff from streets, buildings and parking lots, thereby protecting area streams, lakes and springs. The improvements are being implemented at residences, businesses, schools, and community parks located in the South Creek, Fassnight Creek, Jordan Creek and Pea Ridge Creek watersheds. The grant also monitors the water quality before and after improvements are installed. This allows local experts to measure the effectiveness of these natural solutions for reducing, absorbing and treating stormwater runoff.

During the 2014 calendar year, several stormwater water quality projects were completed including rain gardens, tree box filters, bioswales, riparian corridor improvements and designs for LID (low impact development) stormwater best management practices.

  • 4 Big Urbie Clean-ups with a total of 134 volunteers
  • 5 volunteer planting days with a total of 98 volunteers
  • Partnered with Springfield Public Schools to construct pervious pavement parking lots at Boyd Elementary and Robberson Elementary consisting of a gravel infiltration swales, native vegetation and rain barrels
  • Constructed new detention basin stormwater improvements at Missouri State University and Drury University to promote infiltration
  • Partnered with MSU Campus Construction Team, Facilities Management, and Students for Sustainability Commission to construct a 20,000 gallon rainwater collection system at the William H. Darr School of Agriculture. This innovative project utilizes rainwater collected from the roof for dust suppression inside the Pinegar Arena
  • Funding from Big Urbie allowed the City Streets Department to construct their first pervious pavement parking lot
  • Partnered with Missouri Department of Conservation to install a pervious paver patio at Homegrown Grocery
  • Partnered with Gilardi’s Restaurant to collect 1,700 gallons of rainwater from their roof to help water their vegetable and herb gardens
  • Constructed a rain garden with native plants for Messiah Lutheran Church
  • Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) held a two-day course Stormwater Management for Educators course at Missouri State University June
  • Two parking lots at the City Government Plaza will be retrofitted with pervious pavement, rain gardens, and a bioswale that will allow rainwater to soak into the ground and be used and naturally filtered by soil, plants, and trees
  • Held 4 Big Urbie Steering Committee Meetings

The Big Urbie Final Reports

  • Big Urbie Final Report: HERE
  • OEWRI South and Fassnight Creek Water Quality Assessment Final Report: HERE
  • OEWRI Detention Basins Final Report: HERE


Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, city of Springfield Storm Water Services Division, Greene County Resource Management, Ozarks Environmental and Water Resources Institute, Missouri State Project WET, James River Basin Partnership and Ozark Greenways.

Source Water Protection Source Water and Implementation Grant

Project Completed 2013

Project Manager: Watershed Committee of the Ozarks
Public Water System: City of Springfield, Missouri, by and for the benefit of City Utilities of Springfield, MO

Our primary goal/objective is to develop a comprehensive voluntary SWPP for the Springfield Water Supply to submit for endorsement to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

We will accomplish these tasks:

1) Form a local source water protection steering committee to guide the development of the voluntary community SWPP.
2) Update our potential contaminate sources listed as unconfirmed in the state data base from inventory list of the Source Water Assessment Plan.
3) Revise the “How to Protect Your Well” factsheet
4) Create a “Source Water Protection Starts at Home” educational fact sheet-completed and mail to residents in targeted area
5) Use the plan as a Watershed Control Program suitable for Log Removal credit under LT2ESWTR if needed

USDA Conservation and Innovation Grant

Project Completed 2013

The Conservation Innovation Grant concluded on October 31, 2013. The $100,000 project (50% match) accomplished a variety of projects to safeguard our local water resources. The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks administered the grant, and also produced a rainwater harvesting manual for Southwest Missouri, and a dynamic web-based resource called “How to Farm in the City” as part of the project. Urban Roots Farm and Millsap Farm were the two producers involved in the Conservation Innovation Grant.

Urban Roots projects included the installation of high tunnels (match), installing a rain garden and constructing a 600 sq. ft. packaging and washing house for washing and storing produce prior to distribution. The project utilized innovative building design, rain water harvesting, highly efficient insulation, passive heating/cooling, and re-claimed construction materials and equipment. The rain garden was installed to catch parking lot runoff and water from the pack/wash shed (a.k.a., draingarden).

Millsap Farms projects included testing bio-strip Intercropping, constructing a Chinese high tunnel (a innovative, bermed in greenhouse that is proving to be warmer with less energy/cost inputs that conventional designs), planting an organically-controlled disease resistant orchard, implementing water and energy demonstration practices, starting a vermicomposting unit and installing raised bed gardens/impervious parking removal.

Additionally, this project provided a good connection to the burgeoning local food movement. As local agricultural production grows to meet the goal of 20% local by 2020, demonstrations of water wise micro-farming practices are important.
Education opportunities for the public will come in the form of workshops, field days and two publications:

1) How to Farm in the City
2) Rain Water Harvesting Manual for Southwest Missouri. PDF HERE

Southwest Missouri Water Quality Improvement Project

Project Completed 2012

The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks was awarded funds through the Southwest Missouri Water Quality Improvement Project (WQIP**). The goal of this project is to improve and protect water quality while enhancing economic development for municipalities, agriculture, and tourism. This is a multi-faceted project involving several organizations, each focusing on a different water quality issue. Under this umbrella, the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks (WCO) is currently working with the Table Rock Water Quality Incorporated (TRLWQ) to demonstrate the remediation of onsite wastewater treatment systems that have failed and pose a threat to contaminating ground water. Many conventional septic systems installed in the past have been shown through scientific studies to be inadequate for many locations throughout Southwest Missouri and can negatively impact the quality of groundwater, and ultimately drinking water.

The completed projects include the remediation of sixteen onsite wastewater systems that were failing to groundwater, seven educational onsite wastewater trainings, installation of public, low-flow outdoor restrooms and partial funding for the parking bays, loop drive, permeable walkway pavers and fire truck access for the C.W. Titus Education Facility at the Watershed Center.

View the final report for more information
WQIP Final Report (PDF)


Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Table Rock Water Quality Incorporated

Recreational Trails Grant

Project Completed 2012

In March of 2011, the Watershed Committee received a Recreational Trails Grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The purpose of this grant is to construct 1,550 ft. of hard surface trail connecting the existing Lakeside Learning Station to the newly constructed C.W. Titus Education Facility. The grant will also provide money to aide in construction of a trailhead and parking lot of the building. Total project costs are estimated at $143,090, with $85,000 of the amount coming from the federal grant and the remaining coming from local matching funds. When completed, the trail section will increase the hard surface trails on the site to just over 3,000 ft.

DNR Recreational Trails Grantsmall

C.W. Titus Facility

Project Completed 2011

The C.W. Titus Education Facility–the crowning project of the Watershed Center–was completed in the Fall of 2011. The Facility is a low impact, environmentally conscious building that models “green” engineering and architectural technologies. Building materials and methods used both conserve and efficiently use natural resources, and promote a a healthy, productive environment for employees, students, and visitors alike. The facility is used for educational programs, and can be rented for private events. It comes equipped with tables and chairs for 75, a kitchenette, projector, WiFi, and more. The C. W. Titus Education Facility hours are seasonal and can be adjusted by appointment.

Solid Waste District O Grant

Project Completed 2011

The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks was awarded a Solid Waste District O grant in the amount of $50,000 to demonstrate the use of recycled products in the meeting room at the C.W. Titus Education Facility at the Watershed Center. This will include recycled aluminum windows, recycled plastic in carpeting, low VOC paints and adhesives, cabinetry made of reused wood and energy efficient lighting.

LAD Grant

Project Completed 2011

The Leo A. Drey Foundation (LAD) awarded the Watershed Committee a $5,000 grant for the entrance walkway and rain garden at the C.W. Titus Education Facility at the Watershed Center. The walkway will be constructed of recycled or sustainably grown and harvested materials, and the rain garden will provide an attractive natural amenity while slowing and filtering runoff from the building area.

Springfield Plateau Chapter Master Naturalists helped plant the rain garden and Smiling Sun Landscaping donated labor and plants.

5. LAD Foundatin Grant


Project Completed 2011

The Watershed Committee published Dr. Ken Thompson’s “Geology of Greene County” in 1986. The targeted audience was geologists and other professionals who would be conversant with geologic concepts and terminology. There were no photographs and no color illustrations, except the geologic map.

The current edition, published by the Watershed Committee in 2011 and written by Jerry D. Vineyard, targets a broader readership, using numerous illustrations to highlight the region’s interesting geology. The Geologic Map of Greene County, however, is reproduced at a smaller scale, without significant changes, because post-1986 geologic mapping has changed few details since Thompson’s ground-breaking work more than 20 years ago.

“Gargoyle Country: The Inspiring Geology of Springfield & Greene County” can be purchased at the Watershed Committee’s downtown office, Barnes and Noble or online.

Funding support provided by the Southeast Rotary Club of Springfield, Springfield Underground, City of Springfield Department of Public Works Stormwater Division, Greene County and the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks.


Watershed Management Plan Grant

Project Completed 2009

The Upper Little Sac Watershed Management Plan was initiated to address water quality issues in the watershed, help secure future 319 Grant funding, and to maintain the mission of Watershed Committee of the Ozarks; to improve and protect Springfield and Greene County water supply.
This watershed management plan is focused on the Little Sac River watershed. A watershed management plan is a living document, a vision for protecting and restoring the watershed and a plan for carrying it out. The process of watershed planning can have benefits beyond the road map that is created-it can help build a sense of community by bringing people together with different backgrounds and perspectives to define the future of their area, by helping identify the community’s cultural, historical and natural resources, and by educating the public about their watershed and the issues it faces. The Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District helped in gathering information, writing the document, contacting stakeholders, and the planning preparation for public meetings. Funding was provided through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Boy Scout Bridge

Project Completed 2008

The little bridge at the Watershed Center was a big project. The stream that flows into the lake posed a major barrier to hikers and students in times of high water. With the help of Greene County, a motivated Boy Scout, and the North Side Rotary, our bridge is complete! The Jon Williams original design spans 29 feet and is about 9 feet over the stream bed in the center.


Forestry Learning Station

Project Completed 2008

The Forestry Learning Station is located just off the Doline Loop Trail, on the edge of a pronounced sinkhole, in the upland forest. Using a $5,000 grant from the LAD (Leo A. Drey) Foundation, volunteers organized by Dave Sturdevant, built Leopold benches for the learning station. The benches can accommodate a solitary hiker or a whole class of students. Three interpretive signs titled Forests and Watersheds, Forest Management and Forest Ecosystems accompany the benches.

DNR Trails Grant & Pedestrian Bridge

Project Completed 2008

In 2008, the Watershed Committee received a $100,000 Recreational Trails Grant through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to complete the trail system at the Watershed Center. This grant was specifically geared towards connecting the Watershed Center to the surrounding neighborhoods via a bridge across the spillway dam, a stream crossing of the South Dry Sac creek, and a small trail extension.

Volunteers from the Mill Ridge neighborhood helped Ozarks Greenways staff rough in a nature trail connecting their neighborhood to the South Dry Sac Greenway. The WCO, with the assistance of Greene County and the city of Springfield, installed a stream crossing on the South Dry Sac. this completed the trail connection from Mill Ridge to the Greenway, which leads directly to the Watershed Center.

In October 2008, the last major segment of trail around the Watershed Center site was finished with installation of the Kelley-Stokes Pedestrian Bridge, made possible by grant from the C.W. Titus Foundation. The bridge was dedicated on November 14, 2008 with more than 75 people in attendance. The bridge is 105 feet long, made of 95% recycled steel, is decked with 100% recycled composite decking and painted with environmentally friendly paint.

Pedestrain Bridge over VWM Dam1

Rain Garden at Valley Water Mill Park

Project Completed 2008

The Watershed Committee has partnered with a local Sierra Club to construct a Rain Garden at Valley Water Mill Park. This project will aid in preventing stormwater runoff from entering Valley Water Mill Lake. Rain Gardens are desinged to slow down, capture and absorb water using elements similar to those in nature: plants, rocks, shallow swales and depressions that hold water temporarily rather than let it quickly run away. Rain Gardens will reduce drainage and flooding problems, keep pollutants out of the nearby streams, rivers and lakes and bring beauty and wildlife to the landscape.

There are two kinds of rain gardens: wet and dry. The wet rain garden holds water almost all of the time. The rain garden at Valley Water Mill is a dry rain garden and most water is absorbed within 48 hours…too soon for mosquito larvae to hatch. Wildlife prefers locally grown native plants. If you plant a rain garden, be sure to buy plants native to Missouri.

9. Rain Garden at VWM Park

Community Onsite Wastewater and Stormwater 319 Project

Project Completed 2008

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources awarded this Section 319 Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant to the Watershed Committee in 2004. The C.O.W.S grant directed funding to address two of the biggest water quality issues related to growth: wastewater and stormwater.

The Onsite Wastewater Training Center (OWTC) was one of the major milestones. The OWTC, located adjacent to the Watershed Center, serves as an outdoor classroom for wastewater installers. This facility showcases several alternative onsite septic systems, as well as innovative stormwater techniques. Failing septic systems have been shown to contaminate surface and groundwater resources, including wells used for drinking water. Community outreach projects included workshops, onsite rehabilitation and on-site coupons that will cost-share for maintenance. A cost share project provided a landowner enough incentive to work with the Watershed Committee to replace a failing system that was surface discharging directly into the Little Sac.
For a full description of the projects and accomplishments see the Final Report below

Project Partners: Greene County, Springfield-Greene County Park Board, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Water Quality Improvement Project

Community Onsite Wastewater Projectsmall