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Fundraising Ongoing for the Wateshed Center Building

It's National Drinking Water Week, a perfect time to think about water. And that's just what the folks at the Watershed Center at Valley Water Mill want you to do. The center is nearly complete. All that's left is the main building, but there's still money to be raised. KSMU's Michele Skalicky has more.

The new Watershed Building at Valley Water Mill will be very eco-friendly. The 10,000 square foot facility, which will contain meeting rooms and office space, will be a LEED certified building. Its heating and cooling systems will be very energy efficient, rainwater will be harvested for use on the property, native and locally-available building materials will be used and the facility will feature an "eco-machine."

Loring Bullard is executive director of the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks. He says they'll capture rainwater in cisterns and re-use it—something he says anyone can do at home. In fact, the entire Watershed Center, which encompasses several acres at Valley Water Mill, is designed to be educational. There are a lakeside learning station, a streamside learning station, a wetland learning station, a forestry learning station and a spring learning station.

Many groups have used the site for field trips already, and Bullard anticipates even more will come after the main building is constructed.

There will be classrooms in the building as well as a teacher resource center where teachers can check out items for field trips such as binoculars and field guides. Bullard says there will also be things they can check out to use in their classrooms.

Bullard says they hope to break ground on the 2 ½ million dollar facility this year so it can open by the end of 2009.

But the Watershed Committee still needs to raise one-and-a-half-million-dollars before the facility can be built. If you'd like to find out more about the Watershed Center, go to 866-1127 or go to


  • Watershed Center