Current Programs

Summer Sampling

Program Summary

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

Groundwater Monitoring

Program Summary

The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks partners with City Utilities of Springfield on a groundwater monitoring program. This program provides a proactive groundwater monitoring collection of quarterly water samples from area springs to measure water quality parameters and identify any existing or emerging groundwater contaminates in our region. Sample collection began April 2019 and are collected each quarter.

Little Sac Grazing Demonstration

Program Summary

Cows at the Ag Demo thanks to a partnership with our neighbors, the Krasser family

Farming is a major land use in the Sac and James River Watersheds, and nearly all agriculture in these watersheds occurs on private land. Farming operations can occupy a wide spectrum of impact, ranging from land-healing to land-using and abusing. Not all farms are land-healing, but almost no farmer intends to degrade land and water. We find that land-healing farming methods are often adopted once people are exposed to these profitable, productive, and effective practices. With the help of City Utilities, local Natural Resources Conservation Services staff, and the Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District, we are working to renovate and reopen the Agricultural Demonstration Area (ADA) to provide another way to showcase and share excellent farming practices.

The ADA is located between Fellows Lake and McDaniel Lake. The land is owned by City Utilities, which has leased the parcel to WCO to manage this endeavor. The ADA will showcase riparian protection, prescribed/rotational grazing, warm and cool season pastures, and alternative watering systems. The ADA will be used for classes, tours, and scientific study, and offer sub-leases to local farmers who want to use the land within the restorative farming principals. The Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Greene County Soil and Water District will be the primary education partners, and Missouri State University and City Utilities will likely participate in the science and research aspects.

Some of the infrastructure from the original project have been re-used, and some of the previous improvements—like a warm-season grass pasture and a robust buffer of trees along the stream—will be valuable assets. Funds from the Little Sac Restoration and Improvement Project, City Utilities, and a grant from Lucky’s Market have helped bring the ADA back into working order. In 2018, this support allowed us to install new perimeter fencing, refurbish the watering system, install a water crossing, complete interior fencing (except for one water gap), install a new solar power unit for the electric fence, burn several tons of brush and trees accumulated in the process of re-clearing out the pasture areas, and accomplish many other tasks to get the place up and running.

Partners

City Utilities of Springfield, Greene County Soil and Water Conservation District, USDA, MSU William H. Darr School of Agriculture