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The Watershed Center

Watershed Center

The Watershed Center is the home base of the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks

Watershed Center

The Watershed Center is the home base of the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks, and the heart of our mission’s educational focus.  The Watershed Center has something to offer for everyone.  The beautiful site, Valley Water Mill Park, is a microcosm of the Ozarks with streams, springs, a lake, caves, sinkholes, and diverse types of habitat.  Visitors have many options.  Many enjoy their favorite outdoor pursuits like fishing or hiking, and reading the interpretive signs located around the site help enrich these experiences. Some participate in more in-depth experiences like volunteering, educational field trips.   The dream to create this special place was made possible by Watershed staff members, board members, sponsors, partners, and we are grateful for their support and the support of the community.

Watershed Center Highlights


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


  • LEED Certified, Energy and Water Conserving Building
  • 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
  • Restrooms are located at the Watershed Center building
  • Valley Water Mill Park is open sunrise to sunset daily

Hiking at the Watershed Center

The trails at the Watershed Center span a variety of Ozark habitats and are a pleasure to hike.  It has taken many hours of hard work by dedicated volunteers and staff to build these trails for everyone to use. Please help us to keep them safe and clean.

  • Leave no trace: take all your trash out with you
  • Observe rules posted at the parking lot and trailheads
  • Hiking only–No bikes, horses or motorized vehicles
  • Dogs are welcome, but keep them on a leash and pick up pet waste.

Fishing at Valley Water Mill Lake

Valley Water Mill Lake contains healthy populations of bass, bluegill, and catfish. To ensure the safety and enjoyment of all visitors, please observe the following courtesies:

  • A valid Missouri fishing license is required for fishing at Valley Water Mill Lake
  • Observe posted size and species limits
  • Pick up your trash
  • Fishing and the park are open from sunrise to sunset
  • No boats, swimming, or wading