OWCA Brief History
Obed Watershed Community Association was organized in 2005 and received its 501(c)(3) status in early 2006.
OWCA has a broad mission of educating the community about the historical, cultural and environmental resources associated with the Obed Watershed within Cumberland County, as well as nearby watersheds.
OWCA Highlights include:
- In 2007, our work focused on broad community education, advocacy, and the Stream Monitoring and Restoration Project, which involved the assessment of over 85 miles of streams and tributaries.
- Since 2007, our education work has taken us into many of the Cumberland County Schoolsfor field trips, one day interactions, and extended mini-courses. OWCA is now a fixture at the Home Show, the Garden Show, the Mayor's Sustainability Fair, the County Fair, the Fall Garden Field Day, and the Fairfield Glade Outdoor Recreation Fair. We provide speakers on a regular basis to various civic groups.
- Between 2008 and 2013, under a series of 319 grants and other funding sources, we have focused on addressing impairment issues within the headwaters of the Obed, targeting both streambank restoration and stormwater reduction techniques. Through 2013, we have completed 32 projects, some small and some large and with many components.
- To date, we have restored four wetlands with a total of 4.1 acres, acquired and maintained an additional 2 acre wetland, acquired a conservation easement for 19 acres including a 11.24 acre wetland, stabilized over 7,750 feet of streambank in twelve projects covering a total of four miles of streams, planted over 15,000 plants along streams and wetlands, and installed five rain gardens ranging from 800 to 3,500 square feet, one pervious paver stormwater demonstration, and two water capture projects.
- In 2012, in partnership with the City of Crossville, OWCA launched Waterfest, a day-long event in July at Crossville's Meadow Park Lake, a family-friendly event that invites families to experience paddle sports, which providing a venue for multi-agency informational booths on stream and lake ecology.
- In 2013, a grant from the Tennessee Healthy Watershed Initiative, allowed us to survey an additional 120 miles of streams, primarily in the Daddys Creek, Meadow Creek, and Copeland Creek watersheds.
Day-to-day operations of the Obed Watershed Community Association are overseen by our Executive Director, Dennis Gregg. Dennis Gregg hold a
MS in Ecology from the University
of Tennessee and has
worked in Cumberland County since 1978. Prior to joining OWCA in 2007, he ran a small high school, the Obed Headwaters School. He has 36 years of administrative experience with non-profit
organizations, as well ten years of teaching experience in science and
environmental studies, including Adopt-A-Stream programs.
June Zettelmeyer - Community Education Director
Angela Damron - Senior Staff (currently on medical leave)
Scott Collie, Jennifer Howard, and Dawn Prystash work part-time as restoration specialists.
Billy Hensley and Annell Fields are Team Leaders for our Stream Assessment Project
OWCA is overseen by an able Board of Directors. The board convenes bi-monthly. Members of the board in 2014 include:
Brad Fox (President)
Bruce Anderson (Vice President)
Stephen Collie (Treasurer)
Melissa Brown (Secretary)
Our work is further guided by a Technical Advisory Committee that meets periodically lend professional expertise and feedback on the OWCA activities.
Members of this committee in 2011 include:
Clark Annis, Veolia N.A., Crossville, TN
Kevin Brown, TN Department of Transportation
Tiffany Foster, Tennessee Valley Authority
Dr. Dennis George, Center for Watershed Management, TN Tech University, Cookeville, TN
Mark Thurman, Research Biologist, TN Wildlife Resource Agency
Eric Brady, Stormwater Coordinator, City of Crossville