About Warm Springs Watershed Association (WSWA)

The most scenic portions of Warm Springs Run are hidden deep within property owned by the Sandmine
The most scenic portions of Warm Springs Run are hidden deep within property owned by the US Silica Sandmine

Our Watershed

Warm Springs Run is an 11.8-mile stream in Morgan County, WV, that empties directly into the Potomac River. Draining nearly 10,000 acres, the watershed is small compared to the neighboring Sleepy Creek and Cacapon River watersheds. Although the Run flows parallel to US Route 522 from its headwaters to its mouth, there are only a few places where it can be seen from the road. 

Warm Springs Run flows through the woods south of Widmyer Elementary School

However, the Run makes its presence known during times of heavy rain or snowmelt, when it overflows the banks and causes flash flooding in the Town of Bath, which is built in the floodplain.

The Warm Springs Run watershed is classified as urban, in that there is a far greater percentage of hard surfaces – such as roofs, roads, and parking lots – than pastures or forests. When stormwater flows over urban impervious surfaces, it picks up pollutants, such as oil, gasoline, cigarette butts, fertilizers, pesticides, and industrial chemicals. The impervious footprint in the upper portion of the watershed, from the Potomac Edison headquarters to Jimstown Road, is 19 percent, one of the highest in the state. 

Flooding in Berkeley Springs State Park

With the construction of the 522 Bypass, and the expected increase in development in the upper watershed, flash flooding of Warm Springs Run could become a more serious threat.  

Concerned citizens meet to discuss the need for a watershed association to protect and preserve Warm Springs Run

Our History

The Warm Springs Watershed Association (WSWA) was formed in July of 2008, with help from the Morgan County Purple Loosestrife Task Force, the Sleepy Creek Watershed Association, the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District, and the Potomac Headwaters office of Resource Conservation and Development. We are a 501(c)(3) (charitable non-profit) organization. 

WSWA Board Members engaged in regular monitoring of the Warm Springs Run for 12 years

Our Board

The board of directors, made up of 8-10 elected members, conducts the governance of WSWA. New members are elected at the annual meeting held every April. Since the beginning, the direction of the Board has been dictated by two factors: educating members of the community about the importance of protecting and restoring the Run, and designing and implementing various projects that help fulfill our mission. 

Board Members

David Baxter 

feels called to live the challenge of reducing his negative impact on the earth, one small action at a time. Inspired by the work of the WSWA, he feels fortunate to be a member of the board and to grow as a steward of the watershed. In his daily life, David works as a musician and music teacher.

Jeff Blount

moved to Berkeley Springs in 2011, and was soon involved with Sleepy Creek and Warm Springs watershed associations. He chairs the Advocacy Committee and runs the Puppy Pit Stop and Adopt a Highway programs. He is employed as the CommuniTree Coordinator for Cacapon Institute.
Jeff usually spends his free time outdoor playing Frisbee golf.  

Kate Lehman

president since the founding of WSWA, is a retired Unitarian Universalist minister with a background in organization building and advocacy. Kate likes working with others, being in the stream, and learning new things; being involved with WSWA has provided multiple opportunities to meet these needs.

Mike Lynn

lives in Berkeley Springs and works in public safety in the NoVa region. He studied ecological restoration at the University of Florida and is also an ecological designer for United Designers International, designing homestead, agriculture, and ecosystem restoration projects internationally.

Rebecca MacLeod

vice president, worked to establish WSWA and has been a board member since 2012. She is retired from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and believes soil will save humanity from the impending climate change catastrophe.

Stan Oaks

a retired microbiologist, came to Berkeley Springs in 2007, where he became active in local watershed organizations, eventually joining the boards for both the Warm Springs and Sleepy Creek Watershed Associations. His interest in clean water and the environment started as a fisherman and intensified with the acceleration of climate change. He is active in our stream monitoring activities and tree plantings. Stan enjoys photography and many of his photos can be seen in our website.

Andy Swaim

grew up in Morgan County. He has a strong interest in community service and has served on the Town of Bath Tree Board and the Town Council. As treasurer, Andy is provided with opportunities to apply his math and bookkeeping skills. Before one audit he spent hours trying to discover the ten-cent discrepancy between the bank’s records and his own.

Lisa Swanson

is a resident of the Town of Bath and regards the Warm Springs Run as an integral asset to the town’s distinctive setting and charm, worthy of protection and increased enjoyment. She has learned from the stream monitoring outings about the non-human creatures drawing life from the Run. Lisa has been a long-time member of the Sierra Club and attempts mightily to be an environmental steward in her personal life.

Bob Wurster

has lived in Berkeley Springs since 1981. He enjoys fishing and boating on local waters. Bob has served on the Board since 2014, and has been involved in many projects, ranging from boardwalk design and construction in the Widmyer wetland to erosion control in the Greenway Cemetery.

The five kiosks in the wetlands illustrate the work we are able to do with partners, as noted on the botton right hand corner. In this case, we worked with the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation, the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District, and the WV DEP Stream Partners Program. Local artist Mary Klotz created the five panels.

Affiliations & Partners

Our partners include the WV Conservation Agency, the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District, the WV Department of Environmental Protection, WV Rivers Coalition, and the Choose Clean Water Coalition. Closer to home we work closely with the Sleepy Creek Watershed Association, Cacapon Institute, and the Town of Bath Tree Board.

    The Warm Springs Watershed Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission and vision to protect our beautiful watershed at Warm Springs Run.
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