mill creek watershed coalition




      AT A TIME

Fund Raising Progress Bar ($15,000 goal)

Raised to Date - Over $15,000

Over $15,000 raised thanks to the 90 plus individual donors  who helped this become a reality! A special thanks to the Audubon Society of Missouri for its generous contribution! Your contribution will make possible the TOTAL ECOSYSTEM RESORATION of Elm Spring ... from its current channelized state to a meandering spring branch over 4,000 feet long. This ecosystem will provide prime habitat for rare species of plants, birds and fish, including native rainbow trout.

There are other projects in the works! Please Donate today!

  Photo credit: All photos by Kelly Whitsett, USFS, unless otherwise noted.

  (Hover mouse over picture to pause slide show.)


Mill Creek has a long, colorful history for such a short, crystal-clear stream.  


The Project

Plans for restoring Elm Spring include returning its  flow to a natural course.

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  • The Spring branch was moved into a ditch for agricultural uses which interferes with with natural ecology and allows propigation of invasisve species.
  • The Spring flow is diverted through a culvert into a highway road ditch.
  • The Spring branch has been artificially channelized causing a loss of aquatic habitat, change in water temperature, and water recharge rates to Mill Creek.
  • Native fish species, including two state listed species, are adversely affected by current spring branch conditions.
  • Valley floor populated with tall fescue and other invasives.

Watershed Quality

Photo Credit: Maureen Robinson (Click for larger view.)

Mill Creek, southwest of Newburg, MO, which is part of the Ozark Plateaus aquifer system, is one of a handfull of Missouri streams with a naturally reproducing trout population. Mill Creek and its diverse ecosystems depend upon cold, clear water from the many springs found along its course for health and productivity. Wilkins Spring (pictured above), is located upstream from Elm Spring. It discharges about 14,400 cubic feet of water per hour and serves as a major water source for Mill Creek. 

Photo credit: Jim Marstiller (Click for larger view.)

Yelton Spring (pictured above), whose namesake has ancestors residing in the Valley today, flows from the side of a bluff upstream from Wilkins Spring. It is the first major spring feeding Mill Creek.


       THE project

  • Improve the hydrology, stream morphology, aquatic habitat, and bottom land hard wood ecosystem for long term stability, wetland enhancement, and native fish recovery.
  • Develop the technical design for restoring Elm Spring and its spring run using “Natural Channel Design” principles and bioengineering techniques for using natural materials such as large wood to create natural stream morphology and aquatic habitat.
  • Provide models for restoring degraded streams using natural materials to maximize long-term function.
  • Study project successes for validation of predictions and use in planning future projects.

About Us

  • Missouri Charter No. N01157948

  • Employer Identification Number (EIN): 


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Mill Creek Watershed Coalition