watersheds.org the world in your watershed search
homeabout ussite mapcontact us

Spring River Galloway Creek Nature Park

Galloway CreekGalloway Creek is about 2 miles northwest of downtown West Plains. The 5.3-mile long tributary stream flows southeast and runs parallel to Holiday Lane and the railroad tracks.
[watershed map]   [park map]

Galloway Creek Nature Park

40-acres of Galloway Creek property was purchased by the City of West Plains in 1982 with the understanding that the land would be developed into a recreation park.

The project includes the development of a nature and interpretive park that will be operated and maintained by various groups, including civic organizations, local Boy and Girl Scout troops, environmental interest groups, and the West Plains Parks and Recreation Department. Galloway Creek Nature Park will be one of very few nature/interpretive parks of this size in the South Central Ozarks region in southern Missouri.

Renovation activities underway include converting an existing barn into a community interpretive center. The interpretive center will feature natural, historical and cultural aspects of the project site, including Native American artifacts that have been found on or near the project site through the years. Development activities include construction of connecting pathways from the parking area to areas along Galloway Creek and to interpretive areas of the park, foot bridges over the creek, and a picnic pavilion that will double as an outdoor classroom.

Galloway Creek Nature Park will include a 50 foot wooded riparian buffer zone along each side of the creek; 25 foot buffer zones along identified feeder streams west of the main creek bed, and a high water channel 25 foot wide buffer zone. Wildlife areas will be incorporated in the 40 acre park, as will perimeter buffer zones, in order to help filter and perhaps reduce pollution from adjoining properties entering the Galloway Creek property. The property will also serve as a "green area" or corridor for wildlife communities.

Once the interpretive areas and connecting pathways are completed it is envisioned that the local schools will use the park for study, observation, and natural and native plant renovation and re-establishment. The pavilion will also be available for local company picnics, school class and family reunions and other groups wanting to gather for different occasions.

The Missouri State University–West Plains Biology Department has been working with MODOC and MODNR officials to inventory existing stream conditions to establish baseline data for measuring water quality and conditions. These same officials have also identified potential wetland areas so that the design and construction of connecting pathways will allow the public to view those areas with minimal impact to the site's ecology.

One of the main purposes of this project is to protect Galloway Creek from further deterioration as a result of continuing urban development near and adjacent to the project site. Local stream teams, biology students from Missouri State University–West Plains, and other local community groups have demonstrated their concern and willingness to help preserve the natural elements of the site. In the future, it is hoped that further land acquisition on both the north and south boundaries of the 40 acre property will add to the overall nature park experience by making available to the public more hardwood forest and a natural sinkhole representing a good example of karst topography.


Opening Celebration with demonstration of urban conservation practices

Galloway Park Map with photos and directions

Photo Gallery: some of the people who have made Galloway Park possible.

Earth Day Workday at the Park

For more information on karst and sinkholes in West Plains and Galloway Creek,
see Sinkholes Upstream From City in Part 2 of Karst in the Watershed.

LWCFAdapted from the grant application written by South Central Ozark Council of Governments. The funding source for the development of Galloway Creek Nature Park is the U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service, Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The LWCF program in Missouri is administered by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Historic Preservation.

This is the Web site of the Bryant Watershed Education Project, based in West Plains, Missouri. Our site is a toolkit for exploring the Bryant Creek, North Fork, Eleven Point and Upper Spring watersheds in the southern Missouri Ozarks.
Learn more.