The South Central Ozark Council of Governments (SCOCOG) has been awarded a $100,000 grant from EPA Region 7, along with a matching grant of $33,333 from the South Central Solid Waste Management District.

Funds will be used for a karst and watershed education project, which includes interactive workshops and field trips for teachers, during which they can visit and learn about Ozark karst features such as springs, caves, losing streams and sinkholes.

SCOCOG, and partner organization, the Ozark Resource Center, invite teachers (particularly science teachers), grades 4-12, of Douglas, Howell, Oregon, Ozark, Shannon, Texas and Wright counties to participate. Up to 50 teachers who attend workshops will receive a $300 stipend and two student friendly water quality testing kits. In addition, four school districts with participating teachers will have the opportunity to apply for $5,000 in funding for field trips to local Ozark karst features, such as springs, streams, losing streams, sink holes and caves. Participating teachers will also be offered a menu of additional in-classroom support after the workshops.

“We are very excited to receive this EPA grant,” said SCOCOG’s Project Manager Tegan Vaughn. “The goal is for teachers to gain hands-on teaching methods and tools to help students understand watersheds, karst topography, groundwater, water quality, and how human actions and decisions affect water in the Ozarks.”

Teachers may choose between two two-day workshop sessions:  April 29-30 or July 25-26.  These will take place at the Mountain View Community Center on the first day, and on the second day teachers will attend field trips to Ozark karst features such as Mammoth Spring, Grand Gulf, Round Spring, Devils Well and Alley Spring.

Workshop and teacher field trip facilitators include: Mary Ann Mutrux, a multiple award-winning earth science educator with extensive teaching experience in karst topography, watershed, water quality and environmental education, and Denise Vaughn, with the Ozarks Resource Center, a journalist and producer of karst publications and videos, including “Karst in the Ozarks and Karst in Perry County.”

As a bonus, the information provided will live on in the form of a free online educational video. During the workshops and field trips, Somewhereinthewoods Productions, Mountain View, will be filming, and from that will create a long-term video resource for karst and watershed education in the Ozarks. The video will be available on and
Register for one of the workshops at Registration deadlines are April 15 and July 11. Contact Tegan Vaughn at for more information.

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