"The health of our waters is the principle measure of how we live on the land."



2021 Volunteer Guidelines

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Please monitor yourself at home for potential symptoms before volunteering.

Do not volunteer if you feel unwell, are sick or if you have been in close contact with a known case of COVID. 

1. WC Building is Closed. The Watershed Center will remain closed to the public until further notice. Volunteers can sign in online (via cell phones) through their volunteer portal, or can be signed in by Rowan H. if they choose.


2. Bring your mask. Please wear your mask during check in, while volunteering closely to others, and any time that you may come near another person (including staff, other volunteers, and/or park guests).

3. Bring your own gloves. Volunteers should bring their own garden/work gloves if they have them. Otherwise, a pair of gloves will be issued to individual and family volunteers on their first day. Group volunteers may also bring their own gloves, but if they are unable to do so they will be given freshly washed gloves to use for the day.

4. Social distancing guidelines must be followed. (6+ ft. between each person)

5. Sanitize your tools. Any tools must be sanitized before and after each use.

6. Volunteer activities that involve public interaction have been suspended until further notice. This includes volunteer work related to Watershed Natives plant sales and all education-related activities.

7. Attend virtual monthly meetings. Volunteers wishing to participate in virtual monthly meetings will continue to receive volunteer hours for their time.

Please express your boundaries and expectations for staff and other volunteers, etc. Your safety is and always has been my first priority, and it is incredibly important that you feel both safe and respected.

Watershed Committee of the Ozarks believes in the "Land Ethic", a concept put forth by Aldo Leopold in A Sand County Almanac. In this collection of essays, he describes all of us as citizens of the land. Using Leopold's "Observe, Participate, and Reflect" model, our volunteers are encouraged to build strong relationships with the environment and our community. We hope that by offering a variety of volunteer opportunities and helping you to learn as much as you can along the way, that we can help you build those relationships.

"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. A thing is wrong when it tends otherwise."

- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

For those interested in volunteering with a group or business, please return to the previous page on our website and complete the Group Questionnaire. 

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Volunteer Pathways

Education Programs

At the Watershed Center, we strive to provide age appropriate, place-based education about our water resources. This is a key component of our mission, and a great chance for you to share your passion for science, conservation, and the environment! We hope that by creating field experiences for people of all ages that we can help them build a stronger connection with nature and the outdoors.

(Don't forget- WCO provides all of the necessary training and education materials. Just because you've never worked in a classroom, doesn't mean you aren't a great fit to help inspire others!)



Resource Management

A key role of the WCO is to effectively manage the resources in our region's watershed. This involves a variety of projects ranging from park maintenance, to landscaping, to recycling. This opportunity is great for volunteers who love being outside, want to help care for our land and water resources, and are ready to get dirty!

Watershed Natives: Native Plant Nursery

Volunteers interested in Native Plant Programs and Production will help to produce native plants for projects on and off site. These opportunities will come in many forms and work may be done in gardens, natural habitats, or both.

Native Plant Nursery volunteers can also help weed, transplant, collect seeds, and care for the plants in our Nursery or even volunteer at home with the seasonal Grow in Place or Harvest and Chill Programs.


Check out the major success pictured below! It's the Missouri Bladderpod, or Physaria filiformis. This endangered species is native to our area and had previously disappeared at Valley Water Mill Park, but thanks to the habitat restoration efforts happening at Valley Water Mill Park we found 720 plants in the park this year!

(Photo credit to Mark Bower)



Watershed Docents are excited about providing education and are willing to enthusiastically teach and answer questions.

The Docent program involves engaging and educating park guests about various conservation topics. Docents act as tour guides and educators for the general public and visitors to Fellows Lake and Valley Water Mill Park. Depending upon their interests and qualifications, some Docents may also create their own lesson plans and design their own learning stations. Some educational topics include (but are not limited to): 

  • Water resources
  • The Watershed Center and Fellows Lake
  • Native plants
  • Native fish
  • Topography
  • Macroinvertebrates
  • Water Quality Monitoring
  • Fossils 

Becoming a Docent means working independently creating your own schedule. Trained Docents may also work on afternoons and weekends, even when the office is closed! 

Our Mission

Watershed Committee of the Ozarks is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 whose mission is to sustain and improve the water resources of Springfield and Greene County through education and effective management of the region’s watersheds.