Completed Projects - Card Style
Completed Projects - List Style
Project Completed July 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.
Watershed Committee of the Ozarks was awarded a subgrant agreement from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to improve the drinking watershed of Springfield and Greene County. The project will focus on reducing the loading of pollutants identified in the 303(d) watershed(s) and accompanying Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) for the Upper Little Sac River, as described and recommended in the watershed based plan for that basin, by targeting the sub-watershed for the implementation of BMPs that will reduce nonpoint source pollution. The approach of this project will be to monitor the performance of the selected best management practices (BMPs). Practices will include a demonstration of Longitudinal Peaked Stone Toe Protection (a method of stabilizing eroding banks), prescribed grazing systems, bank vegetative buffers, and alternative livestock watering sources at individual sites and regional levels in the sub-watershed, as well as estimate sub-watershed pollutant loading improvements at sub-watershed outlets. The BMP designs and improvements will then be incorporated into criteria manuals for future policies and ordinances addressing agricultural and urban water quality. Project partners, namely City Utilities of Springfield, the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Missouri Department of Conservation will assist in BMP implementation and monitoring of the projects implemented.
On June 21, 2018 the Missouri Department of Natural Resources awarded an additional grant amendment bringing the total grant funding to $380,442 with a required $225,222 in local match. The final year of the grant will be focused on writing and updating our EPA nine element Upper Little Sac Watershed Management Plan. The grant will be extended until May 31, 2019.
As part of the Little Sac Restoration and Improvement Project on November 6-8, 2017 the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks hosted a hands-on educational workshop, which coincided with the construction of a stream stabilization project on the Little Sac River. Forty people participated in the workshop to help construct the Longitudinal Peaked Stone Toe Protection streambank stabilization project, which includes an engineered floodplain bench, bendway weirs, unrooted live pole plantings, vegetated and curved keys, and rooted stock plants. Mr. Dave Derrick a Potomologist and Stream Stabilization Specialist with River Research & Design, Inc. from Vicksburg, MS with over 20 years’ experience lead the workshop and provided construction oversight.
This project helps reduce nonpoint source pollutants from entering the Little Sac River, which will benefit our drinking water supply for many years to come. We are very thankful to all of our community partners that made this project possible including the landowners, the grant steering committee, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Greene County, Missouri Department of Conservation, Wildscape Environmental Services and all of our workshop attendees!
The final year of the grant will be focused on writing and updating our EPA nine element Upper Little Sac Watershed Management Plan. Part of the plan updates include the Bacteria Source Tracking Report for the Little Sac River, which was recently completed by Missouri State University Ozarks Environmental and Water Resources Institute. Bacteria samples were collected at five sites in the watershed in fall 2017 to look for presence of human, bovine, chicken, goose and dog bacteria markers. The results can be found below:
- The Watershed Center is a birding hot-spot because of the habitat diversity, access to water, and proximity to City—it’s important for the birds, and for teaching people about conservation.
- Ebird data shows 189 bird species have been reported at Valley Water Mill Park which illustrates the importance of this location to migrating and nesting birds, and to the dedicated people who watch and study them at the Watershed Center.
- Of the 189 bird species recorded here, three species, the Northern Harrier, Snowy Egret, and Peregrine Falcon are designated Endangered in the State (Missouri Species and Communities of Conservation Concern Checklist, Missouri Department of Conservation, 2016).
- The location will be on the Great Missouri Birding Trail in 2017.
- The Greater Ozarks Audubon Society (GOAS) has a long-term commitment and involvement to the site, with projects including feeder stations, a waterfowl observation blind, a watering bubbler and chimney swift towers. GOAS frequently leads field trips to the site.
- In 2015, over 3,500 students visited the Watershed Center and participated in educational programs; the surrounding Valley Water Mill Park is visited by thousands of people each year.
- Our wetland and small reservoir are spring-fed and stay ice free most winters, making it an important resting place for migratory waterfowl during extended cold periods.
- We work to explain these and other methods of implementing good land stewardship to program participants, visitors, and volunteers, hopefully multiplying the impact.
- Habitat improvements to our grassland parcels will provide benefits for birds and native pollinators such as monarchs, and increase ecosystem diversity.
- We work closely with MDC, Missouri Master Naturalists, Greater Ozarks Audubon Society, Springfield Greene County Park Board, the City of Springfield, and Greene County which provides excellent partnerships for education and data gathering, such as “bio-blitz” activities.
- This project will involve a massive amount of volunteer participation and labor providing significant in-kind resources.
The Coca-Cola Company and its family of 68 independently owned bottlers across the country invited young Americans to help deliver a better tomorrow through the “Dear Future [Community] Challenge.” Locally, Ozarks Coca Cola Dr. Pepper Bottling Company and Watershed Committee of the Ozarks teamed up to ask students and young adults at Drury, MSU, and OTC their ideas “to protect and restore Ozarks water resources.” After reviewing many submissions, an award of $30,000 went to Ashley Cusic for her idea to protect and restore waters by preventing erosion and planting native plants. WCO served as a mentor and fiscal agent to help Ashely actualize her idea.
WCO surveyed local partners for “needs” or projects that might align with Ashley’s idea. Ashley decided the best fit was a project need of Ozark Greenways. A section of the Frisco Highline trail, located within Springfield’s water supply area, was eroding badly. With the investment from Coke and Ashley, Ozark Greenways was able to fund the work to stabilize the stream bank with stone and native plants. This unique project provided the opportunity to engage many students, build a relationship with Ozarks Coca Cola Dr. Pepper Bottling Company, and our student partner Ashley, as well as fix a problem and make he water cleaner.
Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper Bottling Co., Ozark Greenways, Wildscape Environmental
Late in 2018, the C.W. Titus foundation came through with a grant which should allow the Watershed Center to become net-positive, or to generate more energy than we consume. The way we hope to get there is two-fold. The grant will allow us to do a major energy efficiency upgrade to the outdoor restrooms attached to the C.W. Titus Education Facility. The restrooms use a prodigious amount of energy because of the uninsulated structure with electric resistance heating (think giant space heaters in a two story continually vented chimney). In 2019, in partnership with Springfield Greene County Parks, we will add insulation, lower the ceilings, and add a highly efficient heat source called a mini-split heat pump system. The area above the new ceilings will also add an attic storage space which will be useful as we grow. The remainder of $45,000 grant will allow us to add roof-mounted solar panels to the Lakeside Pavilion, which is an excellent location for solar based on the access to direct sun and a separate meter which can be utilized. The generosity of the HDR employees through the HDR foundation, the C.W. Titus Foundation, Sunbelt Environmental, and the Springfield Greene County Park Board have lead to some incredible developments, and we are excited to report on the outcomes in our 2019 annual report.
In late 2018, we finally realized a long-term goal of adding renewable energy generation to the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks! The HDR Foundation made it possible. But what is the HDR Foundation?
The HDR Foundation is affiliated with HDR Inc., a premier engineering firm with global reach, although the two are legally separate entities. HDR Inc. The one-time gift from HDR will literally be the gift that keeps on giving—every time the sun shines on the solar array. The solar array will reduce operating costs, essentially allowing us to spend less money on energy and therefore allow us to apply more resources to our mission. In very real terms, the cost-savings will allow us to hire an additional part-time educator for the busy spring and fall field trip seasons.
The solar array also provides another educational opportunity for the Watershed Center. The solar array comes with monitoring equipment that populates a real-time dashboard which can be accessed online through a computer or mobile device. The dashboard elegantly shows current energy output, kilowatt hours per day, and keeps a running tally of carbon offset and cost savings. We plan to continue developing the educational component with our partners at City Utilities and Sunbelt Solar encourages employees to be engaged in their local communities and leave their mark on the future through partnerships aligned with HDR’s values and areas of expertise. The HDR foundation was founded on July 12, 2012 to extend that corporate ethic, and the Foundation is fueled/funded primarily by donations from employees of HDR Inc. Watershed Committee of the Ozarks board member and former board chairman Eric Dove works for HDR Inc. which provided access for WCO to apply to the HDR foundation for grant funding. The HDR Foundation has provided more than $1 million in grant funding to deserving nonprofit organizations from all across the United States, and WCO was the beneficiary of a major grant of $80,000, which was the largest single disbursement the HDR Foundation had awarded to date!
Solar was an instrumental partner in the project. From the onset, Sunbelt stepped up in a big way by agreeing to provide $10,000 in in-kind services for the installation of the project which helped both in the grant application process and with the success of the project over all. The project had many, many twists and turns, including new steel and solar tariffs which affected prices and design possibilities, buried lines, City codes, and aesthetic considerations. The Sunbelt team was with us from start to finish and adapted to all the challenges that we encountered. Upon the writing of this, our solar array seems to be performing like a “hot rod” in comparison to other local systems.
HDR, Sunbelt Solar