Environmental Programs

Environmental Program Partners

Valley Water Mill Center
Drury University’s outdoor laboratory for teaching and research in the natural sciences is the Watershed Center at Valley Water Mill Park.  The Valley Water Mill Center is a publicly owned site on the north edge of Springfield. This 100-acre parcel is of great geologic and historic interest. It contains a prominent fault zone where streams sink into underground channels. It was the site of a grist mill before the Civil War. And it contains a wide variety of natural and man-made features, including a seventeen-acre lake, wetlands, spring-fed stream, caves, sinkholes, glades and forests. To take advantage of these natural features, a 2 1/2 mile walking trail loops around the entire site, connecting the five major outdoor classrooms or  “learning stations,” at the spring, wetland, lake, forest and stream.

Valley Water Mill CenterValley Water Mill Center

Neighboring Universities - Missouri State University
Through a reciprocal agreement, Drury University students may supplement their education in their environmental Majors by taking courses in related fields at the Missouri State University.  For example, Environmental Health Majors interested in continuing their education have the opportunity of being fast-tracked in MSU’s Masters in Public Health Degree Program by taking classes at MSU while completing their undergraduate degree at Drury.

Bull Shoals Field Station
Missouri State University maintains the Bull Shoals Field Station on the Drury-Mincy Conservation Area next to Bull Shoals Lake.  The area has several small ponds, streams, glades, savannahs, and closed forest, as well as an extensive lakeshore zone with canoes and a pontoon boat providing access to the lake.  Two solar-powered houses that collectively sleep 20 or more people, a classroom, pavilion, and available for individuals or small groups to use on a daily or overnight basis

Ozarks Environmental and Water Resources InstituteOzarks Environmental and Water Resources Institute
The Ozarks Environmental and Water Resources Institute (OEWRI) is housed in the College of Natural
and Applied Sciences at Missouri State University. The institute supports efforts to protect and restore water quality and supply in the Ozarks Region of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas. It provides a hub for science-based monitoring and assessment of water and sediment quality trends, watershed function and disturbance, and land use/land cover change in the Ozarks. In addition, it implements research projects aimed at solving environmental problems by working in partnership and cooperation with university researchers, environmental groups, and governmental agencies.

Neighboring Universities - Ozarks Technical Community College
The Environmental Program and OCSS have been working with OTC on various opportunities.  The Environmental Program is working with the Biology Department at OTC to ensure that classes taken at OTC will transfer to Drury for OTC students that wish to pursue and environmental degree at Drury.  OCSS has been working the OTC Workforce Development Program to train existing professionals on environmental programs to improve skills.  OCSS provides Pollution Prevention and Ozarks GreenScore training programs through OTC’s Workforce Development Program.  The Central Street Recycling Coalition is a partnership among several institutions along Central Street in Springfield.  These include Ozarks Technical Community College, Central High School, the Midtown-Carnegie Public Library, City Utilities, City of Springfield, and Greene County.  Students have opportunities for internships, research, and employment in helping any of these institutions or the coalition itself develop effective waste management strategies, and promote the services of the coalition, which provide a centralized recycling drop-off site, manage the contracts for that facility, and develop the communication strategies for making the site work.

Ozark Greenways Trails
A local nonprofit citizens group preserves the Ozarks' natural heritage through development of a greenway trail network around and through the city for public use. One of the greenway trails runs alongside Jordan Creek, the stream adjacent to our campus.  Individual students and entire classes have worked with Ozark Greenways to build and maintain trails, and have written grant proposals for them to secure funding for additional trails and programs. http://www.ozarkgreenways.org/trails.html

The Springfield Conservation Nature Center
The Nature Center, operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation, features a variety of exhibits, programs, activities and videos to enjoy, plus six different hiking trails through forests, glades, meadows and along streams and Lake Springfield.  This is a popular destination for class field trips, individual research projects, and service learning opportunities.

National Parks Service Heartland Headquarters
Several National Park Service biologists including botanists, herpetologists, mammalogists, and aquatic entomologists, are based in Springfield to oversee monitoring and ecological studies of biological resources on many of the National Park Service lands throughout the central Midwest.  Some of these biologists are housed at Missouri State University, while others are housed at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield.  Faculty in the SOE has collaborated with these biologists on the projects in the past, and plan to develop more projects for our students to plug into in the future.

Springfield Urban Agriculture Coalition and Dig In R-12 (DIRT) ProjectSpringfield Urban Agriculture Coalition and Dig In R-12 (DIRT) Project
The Springfield Urban Agriculture Coalition maintains a one-acre urban farm in a city center neighborhood one mile from the Drury campus.  They also coordinate the DIRT Project, which is installing and maintaining 10 school yard gardens throughout the city, primarily in center city schools.  One of the school yard gardens is with Boyd Elementary and Pipkin Middle School, which are within two blocks of the Drury campus.  Numerous Drury students have helped develop and maintain this Midtown Garden and have developed curriculum modules to teach the young students about soils, plants and healthy eating.  Many more students will be involved in SUAC’s internships on the Urban Roots Farm and the other school yard gardens.

Other partnerships:
The Drury Environmental programs maintain numerous other partnerships with area organizations that promote environmental awareness and sustainable development.  These include the Partnership for Sustainability, Ozarks New Energy, Inc., the Community Partnership of the Ozarks’ Environmental Collaborative, the Central Street Recycling Coalition, James River Basin Partnership, among others (See complete list below).  All of these provide opportunities for student internships or employment that give students the opportunities for hands-on environmental leadership in the community.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS (below is a sampling of our partners)