Valley Water Mill Park

Valley Water Mill Park


Located northeast of Springfield on Valley Water Mill Road, the park features a mile and a half hiking trail around the Mill along with other in-Park trails, water-and-stream side learning stations, outdoor classroom pavilion, fishing piers, and The Watershed Center of the Ozarks.

The Valley Water Mill Park is a synergistic example of community resources and organizations working together to provide a wonderful experience for park users while protecting the watershed and environment. The property is owned and the dam maintained by City Utilities. The Springfield-Greene County Park Board has leased the land around the pond and spring to provide an opportunity for visitors to appreciate the beauty of this natural resource. Community leaders, corporate partners and The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks uncovered a need for an educational building to highlight ‘best practices’ in building and maintaining environmentally sound structures. The Watershed Committee of the Ozarks building was constructed to the highest environmental standards - LEEDS certified and completed in 2012. Nestled between the forest and the pond, it is a shining example of functionality combined with environmental systems that provide the smallest footprint possible for a building of that size.

The Missouri Department of Conservation insures that the spring and waterway are in top health through routine water testing and fish electro-surveys. Many ancillary organizations such as the Missouri Master Naturalist - Springfield Chapter use the Park for their ongoing ornithology programs.

The Valley Water Mill Park is open daily from dawn to dusk for fishing, hiking and strolling.

Swimming/Boating is Not Allowed

The reason for no swimming is that the lake is part of our drinking water system and recreation is limited so that the water can be protected.

Restrooms are located on the southwest end of The Watershed Building of the Ozarks. Fishing licenses are required.

"Every drop of rain that falls is precious-a resource to be safeguarded. That is the philosophy of the Watershed Center, a project of the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks. There are a myriad of opportunities to see, feel and touch water protection demonstrations, discuss aspects of sustainable design and living, work with other people who care about water, examine working examples of water conservation and green building features, and learn how every person can take responsibility as a curator of our precious water supply. In short, we want to connect people to their watersheds.

The C.W. Titus Education Facility is a LEED Gold certified building at the heart of the park. This building is made from recycled materials, uses energy conservation practices, and utilizes many forms of Low Impact Development.

Watershed Committee Information

For more information about the building, including rental information, please visit the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks website.

"In partnership with Line Cycle Fishing LLC there are several fishing line (monofilament) recycling bins around the fishing access areas. Fishing line that is discarded on the ground or in the water often makes its way onto bird nests. Birds are attracted to it as a nesting material. However, if they become wrapped in the line, they can be injured or even killed when the line will not break."
Watershed Center: A Project of Watershed Committee of the Ozarks
"Recycling the line is an equally important step as line that makes it to the landfill will also be picked up by birds. When recycled, the line is melted down and can be used to make new plastic items. Thank you for properly disposing of your broken fishing line!"

"We love our four legged friends and encourage you to bring your dog out for walks in the woods and along the boardwalk. In order to maintain our excellent wildlife populations and clean water, please keep your dog on the leash and pick up dog waste to dispose of it in the trash cans. When you properly dispose of dog waste, you keep the harmful bacteria and nutrients from the waste out of our clean water. It may just be one mess, but we see a lot of visitors and a lot of dogs, and those messes add up quick, so do your part and clean up after your dog! Even the nicest dog sometimes plays too rough with wildlife, especially young animals. From mink to muskrat, fledgling turkey and spotted fawns, a dog off-leash poses a serious threat. Likewise, some people have had bad experiences with dogs and a dog running loose can cause a great deal of trauma.

Valley Water Mill Lake

Valley Water Mill Lake is a 13-acre lake managed under a cooperative agreement between the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks and the Missouri Department of Conservation. The lake opened to fishing in March 2012. Several species of sportfish are in the lake including Largemouth Bass, Bluegill, Channel Catfish, Redear Sunfish, and a few Black Crappie. Largemouth Bass and Bluegill provide the best fishing opportunities. As for non-game fish, Common Carp are also present.
Species Daily Limit Length Limit
Black Bass 6 12-15 Inch Protected Slot
Crappie 30  
Catfish 4  
All Others (in the Aggregate)    
Please note that there is a 12 to 15-inch protected slot length limit on black bass. This means, anglers need to immediately release any black bass (i.e. Largemouth Bass) that are between 12.0 inches and 15.0 inches. They can harvest black bass below 12 inches and above 15 inches. Those Largemouth Bass between 12 and 15 inches do provide a great catch-and-release opportunity.

As for the individual fish populations, anglers can expect to find a good portion of the harvestable bass to be greater than 15 inches with a few of the Largemouth Bass exceeding 5 pounds. Bluegill are also plentiful and a few of them will exceed 8 inches in length. The best times to fish the lake are late fall and early spring.

Anglers fishing the lake must have the appropriate lifetime, annual, or daily fishing permit or qualify for an exemption. These can be purchased over the counter from any permit vendor or online at A list of exemptions can be found in Chapter 5 of the Wildlife Code of Missouri. A copy of the Wildlife Code Book can be picked up wherever permits are sold.