I heard  great Woody Guthrie song the other day. “Sowin’ on the mountain, reapin’ in the valley”. The line repeats itself in classic Americana folk style. Listening to the lyrics, I couldn’t stop thinking about the obvious connection to what we do here at Watershed Committee. The common theme is the rain. Rain takes what we have sown on top of the hills and mountains, cities and rooftops, and distributes it into the valleys, creeks and rivers that we use every day. The benefits that we reap from clean water are numerous and clear; safe drinking supplies, good fishing and swimming, tourism dollars, unmatched float streams. The matter of what we sow, however, is sometimes a bit foggier. Sometimes we sow native grasses, forests, and rain gardens. Sometimes we sow fertilizer, bacteria, and sediment.

Here’s a link to the song. Sowin’ on the mountain

Whatever we put up on our mountain will make its way to the valley in good time. As you consider today what you have sown, also imagine ways that you can slow that water down as it makes its way to the rivers and streams. Here are some ways that you can help!

Control what you sow and slow it down on its way to the valley!

  • Install a rain barrel
  • Plant a native garden
  • Plant a rain garden
  • Pick up dog waste
  • Wash your car on your lawn or at a car wash
  • Fertilize Responsibly
  • Pick up litter that you see on the streets and near storm drains

With small changes, we can all make a big impact on our community’s valley. We thank you all for supporting us as we continue to sow the seeds of water stewardship in hopes of generations hence reaping clean and plentiful water resources. As the last line of the chorus says,

“…you’re gonna reap just what you sow.”


Rob Hunt, Watershed Center Coordinator



Speaking of sowing and reaping, the Watershed Committee staff will be hanging out at the Farmers Market of the Ozarks down at Farmers Park THIS SATURDAY from 8am to 1pm! Come by and get your ticket to the 30th anniversary event (July 12) if you haven’t already and say hi to us!


Thanks Mark Bilyeu and Cindy Woolf for introducing me to this tune!

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