A River Runs Through It: Preserving the Water Quality and Protecting the Land along the Muddy Fork River

Prairie Grove Junior High School


Viney Grove, an outlying community of Prairie Grove, has two seasonal problems: poor water quality and torrential flooding. EAST at PGMS has partnered with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, the Illinois River Watershed Partnership, the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, and CAST at the University of Arkansas to conduct research and work on environmental restoration projects to promote the overall health and wellness of this water body. We also plan to work with the Army Corps of Engineers to brainstorm and problem solve the flood plain area of Viney Grove to find solutions to the annual flooding problem that exists in this area.

This work includes using drone photography/videography, stream bank erosion analysis and documentation, taking GoPro camera footage as we kayak along the Muddy Fork to collect data, and planting trees along the Riparian Buffer Zone to strengthen the soil and to help prevent erosion.

We will also work with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission to have our PGMS Stream Team clean up along the river bank and work with CAST and the IRWP to create erosion maps of the area surrounding the Muddy Fork. We will also work in a collaborative effort with the City of Prairie Grove Wastewater Treatment Facility as its runoff drains directly into a flood trench that flows into the Muddy Fork.

EAST at PGMS will partner with the Army Corps of Engineers and the City of Prairie Grove to brainstorm possible solutions to the annual flooding events that occur from the Muddy Fork and the Illinois River of homes along Viney Grove Road, located just outside of Prairie Grove.

Improved water quality of this branch will benefit hundreds of thousands, as this water flows directly into the Illinois River, which is the main drinking water source of many Oklahomans who live in the Illinois Watershed. Additionally, hundreds of people are affected each year by floods. Hopefully, we can help to save homes and property along with helping to keep the flood waters that flow into the Muddy Fork and the Illinois River cleaner.