Current Projects

Current Projects

Current Projects - Card Style

Current Projects - List Style

Summer Stream Testing

During the summer, WCO assists the Springfield-Greene County Health Department with collecting their weekly bacteria samples in streams that are public swimming locations. After the samples are analyzed the E.Coli and Total Coliform results are posted on the health department’s webpage the following day for the public to access. In years past, the Watershed Committee collects samples bi-weekly.

This year the WCO was able to assist the health department by handling all the field sample collections. This water testing is not regulatory; it is voluntary and a courtesy to the people of Greene County.

To find weekly sample data click HERE.

Watershed Center

The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks created the Watershed Center at Valley Water Mill Park. This 100-acre parcel is of great geologic and historic interest. It contains a prominent fault zone where streams sink into underground channels. It was the site of a grist mill before the Civil War. And it contains a wide variety of natural and man-made features, including a seventeen-acre lake, wetlands, spring-fed stream, caves, sinkholes, glades and forests.

To take advantage of these natural features, a 2 1/2 mile walking trail loops around the entire site, connecting the five major outdoor classrooms or “learning stations,” at the spring, wetland, lake, forest and stream. These offer excellent opportunities to get kids and adults outside for some exciting, hands-on learning about our precious water resources. Watershed Center Page can be found HERE.


  • Five Outdoor Classrooms Structures
  • Great Field Trip Site for Schools
  • Hands-On Educational Opportunities


  • LEED Certified, Energy and Water Conserving C.W. Titus Education Facility
  • Water Quality Demonstrations Including Pervious Pavement, Vegetated “Green” Roof, Rain Gardens, Wetland Filters
  • Rainwater Harvesting System Conserves Water
  • Energy Conservation with Daylighting, Passive Solar and Geothermal


  • 2.5 Mile Walking/Nature Trail
  • Fishing in 17-Acre Lake
  • Nature and Bird Viewing
  • 100-Acre Historic Site

Community Conservation Grant

The Missouri Department of Conservation awarded the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks (WCO) $10,000 through a Community Conservation Grant (CCG).

  • Provide support for terrestrial and aquatic habitat improvement in urban areas,
  • Coordinate efforts among similar organizations which share the common goal of improving urban habitats and supporting community conservation efforts,
  • Train partner organization staff in native habitat restoration and long-term management practices of sustaining natural landscapes, and
  • Engage the public through conservation education and volunteer opportunities.

How will the Watershed Committee use these funds?

With these goals in mind, WCO will use the grant funds to hire a part-time position titled “Watershed Center Habitat Improvement specialist.” This person will work to improve the ecological health of the Watershed Center site through removal of invasive species, implementation or the Forest Stewardship Management Plan, and other work to improve the human/nature interface. The project will also provide focused way to incorporate volunteers and create educational opportunities. The grant will begin in the spring of 2016 and last for one year. WCO it thrilled about the opportunity to enhance our stewardship efforts at the Watershed Center.

Sac and James River Watershed Conservation Outreach Project

The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks was awarded the USDA Conservation Technical Assistance Grant for $49,0000 on September 15, 2018. The project is to promote public awareness and implementation of Farm Bill activities, especially in historically underserved communities and in watersheds critical to drinking water supply.

As part of the grant WCO has created a survey to understand the knowledge farmers, producers and growers have of the farm bill practices and cost share programs currently available. A local contact list for the watershed is being generated to disperse the survey. As part of the grant milestones outreach conservation workshops will be conducted focusing on soil health and managed grazing.

Monitoring Wells

Groundwater is a precious resource, and many people statewide rely on it exclusively for their water supply. The observation wells at the Watershed Center provide valuable groundwater data, as well as an educational tool for the Watershed Center.

The monitoring wells measure the water levels of the two separate aquifers under the Springfield area. The shallow Springfield Aquifer and the deeper Ozark Aquifer are separated by a layer of rock called Northview Shale–this layer acts as a barrier between the two aquifers. The wells measure the water levels of the Springfield and Ozark Aquifers, and communicate real-time data via satellite. Both wells are at this link, listed under “Greene County.”

The two monitoring wells at the Watershed Center are part of a bigger project by the Water Resources Center of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources–adding new wells to the statewide observation well network. The existing network of 75 wells, from 30 to 1800 feet deep, help monitor the status of groundwater resources throughout the state of Missouri. Eighty additional observation wells are planned.

Monitoring Wells Page can be found HERE

Ozark Society Foundation Youth Engagement Grant

Project Summary

The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks would like to acknowledge The Ozark Society Foundation for awarding the Watershed Natives program a grant of $2,000. The Watershed Natives program was established to meet the growing demand for native plants both residential and restoration efforts. Native plants are integral to soil health, pollinator and wildlife habitat, erosion prevention, biodiversity, and reduction of nutrient runoff.

After a successful inaugural year, the Watershed Native program is expanding by collaborating with Ozark Empire Fairgrounds and Springfield Public Schools to establish a nursery to produce native plants. A key element in the long-term success of this program is the integration of high school students in nursery operations and restoration planning.

The generosity of The Ozark Society Foundation will ensure a successful collaboration with area educational institutions and the community. The funds will provide equipment and materials needed by Hillcrest High School students growing native plants through the program. The Watershed Native program and its collaboration with area schools could not be possible without the support of community partners like The Ozark Society Foundation.


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