“We hope our gift will fill the final gap and make the Watershed Sanctuary a reality,” said Jay and Joyce Hale when they generously gave a gift to establish a conservation area and education center located in Cave Springs in the headwaters of the Illinois River Watershed.   In fact, that gift, while not the last one given, did indeed fill the final gap for without it, the establishment of the Watershed Sanctuary might not have happened!

That spirit of generosity and hope moves the hearts of people to take actions that make positive things happen all around us every day!


Joyce and Jay Hales on the Illinois River Float

Joyce and Jay Hale on an Illinois River Float


The Illinois River Watershed Partnership is made up of many individuals like Jay and Joyce and includes local, national and international companies, state and federal agencies and local, state and national organizations that continue to invest their time, talents and treasures to help preserve, protect and improve the land and water here in northwest Arkansas and northeast Oklahoma.  “The IRWP has been the most invigorating proof of what people with vision can accomplish… and in such a short time,” observed the Hales.   “It has been an exciting ride and there is still so much to look forward to!”


Sarah Wrede and son

Sarah Wrede and her son participate in “Make a Difference Day”


The contributions are as diverse as the participants themselves and have wide-reaching impact on the health of our watershed.  Their actions and their investment have both immediate and long term effects, as their resources and example inspires each of us to do our part.  What can a group with a shared mission accomplish?  Here’s a snapshot of what these amazing people have done… 



We are grateful every day but especially this time of year to acknowledge the IRWP Members and Partners that have made it possible for over 18,500 people to actively participate in over 24,500 hours of watershed education and conservation projects in 2013 so far…and we’re not done yet!


IRWP Partners

Partners of the Illinois River Watershed


The mission is bold.  The vision is vast.  But the work ahead does not daunt us because of the committed support of our partners, our supporters, our watershed family.  We invite you share that vision and to enter the Illinois River Watershed Sanctuary through the lens of our new documentary.  And then make plans to hike our new trail, see the cave bluff, clear spring, and 100 year old Bartlett Dam!


IRWP Watershed Sanctuary Video

Click to view “The Watershed Sanctuary” Documentary


THANK YOU to ALL our volunteers, members, foundations, and sponsors that fill the gap that forms the Illinois River Watershed Partnership — joining together — working to preserve, protect and improve the beautiful, bountiful place where we live and all enjoy.

Happy Thanksgiving to ALL!



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