July 15, 2011

News Release

For Immediate Release

$1.2 Million Educational Facility at Valley Water Mill Park

The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks will dedicate the new $1.2 million C. W. Titus Education Facility at 10 a.m., Friday, July 22, at the Watershed Center at Valley Water Mill Park, 4007 N. Farm Road 171, followed by a 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, July 23 Open House.

The C. W. Titus Education Facility at the Watershed Center is expected to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification level of "Gold," and will contain offices for water educators and public meeting spaces.

Saturday Open House

Free public Open House activities from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday, include refreshments and activities for kids and families provided by the Watershed Committee and Springfield-Greene County Park Board. Activities will include: nature hikes; Dutch oven cooking demonstrations; and the "Stream Trailer," a hands-on model containing a working stream.

Valley Water Mill Park is open to the public and is already being used extensively for school field trips and professional workshops. The 124-acre park contains a variety of natural features including wetlands, streams, caves, sinkholes and springs. A host of energy efficiency and water conserving features are demonstrated at the Watershed Center, including a pervious concrete parking lot, permeable pavers, rain gardens, rainwater collection cistern, natural lighting, geothermal heating and cooling and recycled materials in building construction.

The completion of the C. W. Titus Education facility will provide indoor meeting and workshop spaces to complement the site's trails, natural features and man-made education and demonstration facilities, along with demonstrating Springfield and Greene County's commitment to clean water and the protection of streams, lakes and groundwater.

Primary partners in the Watershed Center project include the City of Springfield, Greene County, City Utilities of Springfield and the Springfield-Greene County Park Board. Fifty private donors have contributed at least $1,000 each toward the completion of the C. W. Titus Education Facility, which has a total cost of approximately $1.2 million. Partners and donors will be recognized at the ribbon-cutting and open house.

To reach the Watershed Center at Valley Water Mill Park: go north on Glenstone Avenue past I-44. At the stoplight at Valley Water Mill Road, turn right. Go to the T, turn left and follow the signs. Or, go north on Highway 65 and exit at Farm Road 102 (first exit north of I-44), turn left and go about two miles to the park entrance.

For more information, media contact: Loring Bullard, Executive Director, Watershed Committee, 417-866-1127.