IRWP TeamOur team leaders commit to protect and improve the quality of the watershed through personal actions.  We respect and believe in the power of the individual and the personal impact each of us has on our surroundings.  We invite you to become a part of our efforts to preserve, protect, and restore the Illinois River Watershed!

Dr. Delia Haak is executive director of the Illinois River Watershed Partnership. She was recently elected Secretary/Treasurer of the Arkansas Water Resources Association which is the state chapter of the American Water Resources Association. Haak was named the 2011 James Bailey Educator of the Year by the Arkansas Water Works and Water Environment Association and the IRWP received the Rogers Chamber of Commerce 2012 Spirit Award.

Delia serves on the executive committee of the board of directors for Arvest Bank Siloam Springs and is an adjunct graduate business faculty member at John Brown University, where she worked for 21 years prior to joining the Partnership.

Haak earned an MBA from the Walton College of Business and a Doctorate in Higher Education from the University of Arkansas. Delia and husband, Bill, have four children and seven grandchildren, and live in Benton County between Gentry and Springtown.


Becky Roark, Rain Garden Resource Specialist, joined the IRWP in Sept 2011 as part of a grant from Arkansas Natural Resources Commission and US EPA. Becky is a graduate of the University of Arkansas Landscape Architecture program and has installed over 60 rain gardens to date in the Illinois River and Beaver Lake Watersheds for the Rain Garden Project.

Becky’s interests include a passion for native plants of the Ozarks, kayaking local rivers and streams, fishing for smallmouth bass and spending time with her son Lucas and daughter Abby.


Lauren Ray, Education Outreach Coordinator, is a 2013 graduate of the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas, with a degree in Environmental Studies and Biology.

Lauren is a two-time recipient of the University of the Ozarks’ Most Exceptional Outdoor Leader award and the 2013 recipient of the university’s highest honor, the Hurie Award.  She was named 2013 Student Conservationist of the Year by the Arkansas Wildlife Federation and 2014 Environmental Educator of the Year by the Arkansas Environmental Education Association.

A northwest Arkansas native, Ray is an avid outdoorswoman who enjoys hiking, paddling, and cycling.


Rex Barrett is the project manager for the IRWP Watershed Sanctuary. The scope of Rex’s responsibilities at the Watershed Sanctuary include site maintenance, trail development, and supervising construction and renovation projects.

Rex and his wife, Susan, live on Beaver Lake and enjoy regular visits from their children and grandchildren.


Jennifer Michaels moved to Northwest Arkansas in 1996 to enjoy the beautiful landscape and friendly people.  She enjoyed living in many different states and has had several “careers.”  Jennifer recently retired from her personal chef business and still caters on special occasions for friends or previous clients.

Michaels has been a part of the Illinois River Watershed Partnership since it was formed in 2005.  She is the volunteer coordinator for the Clean Water Raingers Program and travels to schools and other venues to perform the program with Captain Marshall (Marshall Mitchell).

Why give her time to Clean Water Raingers?  Jennifer believes that if children learn to love their watershed, they will take care of it.

“If we want our children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it.” David Sobel, Beyond Ecophobia