Clement Waters
1012 E Lakeview Ave
Olathe KS 66061
Nature is what we all have in common.
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 944-1491
Mission Statement
We help people to become better stewards of gifts naturally available to all of humanity: our bodies, our communities and our planet.
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Joy Ellsworth
Board Chair Mrs. Joy Ellsworth
Board Chair Company Affiliation Ellsworth Collaborative LLC
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2014
Former Names
Clement Waters Retreat
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer Support our body of work at — Thank you!
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement
We help people to become better stewards of gifts naturally available to all of humanity: our bodies, our communities and our planet.
Background Statement
Clement Waters Retreat was founded as a wellbeing concept by Luke and Joy Ellsworth after a life changing experience in the southeastern Missouri Ozarks. Luke had fought an autoimmune disorder for nearly a decade, under close supervision and guidance of a medical team. When his employer shut down his department's Kansas City-based services in 2013, the layoffs meant that he was in for a reduction in healthcare, and he would likely lose an eye.
Accepting his fate, Luke decided to spend some time supporting Joy's career by being a home-based parent for their toddler. As an Aaron L. Levitt Social Entrepreneurship Challenge finalist, Joy was nursing a passion for helping would-be founders in unlikely social positions to prove their concepts.
The family moved to Mountain View, Missouri to help a community leader repurpose an abandoned factory into a vocational training center.
Luke now worked with his hands to renovate the house they would live in during the project's length. Mountain View was nearly devoid of fast food, making home-cooked meals a staple of life. The family spent weekends exploring the unique formations, lush greenery and burbling sounds of the nearby Jack's Fork River. After Luke's prescriptions ran out, Luke expected his long-swollen left eye to require removal, but surprisingly, his condition eased. Within three months of their move, his condition was no longer visible.
Luke and Joy prefer to solve mysteries using observation and deduction. During visits back to Kansas City, their own heightened adrenaline levels driving through typical traffic were now comparatively obvious to them. Their stomachs didn't like 'city food' anymore. Beyond their self-observations, Luke and Joy found emerging research indicating that stress impacts heath. In late 2014, Luke and Joy founded Clement Waters Retreat to advocate for utilizing renewable natural resources to counteract the health effects of stress.
When Joy became director of a rural CASA program serving foster children, she discovered research and case-studies showing that affluent families choose interventions to prevent the health effects of stress, but families with low incomes cannot afford them. Common stressors concern earnings, living costs and housing.
After the birth of their youngest brought them back to Kansas City, the couple is using their unique position to raise quality of life for low-income Kansas Citians, and raise awareness about the intersections of environment, economics and health.
Impact Statement
  • In 2017, Clement Waters Retreat (CWR) regrouped in Kansas City, MO, started forming partnerships with city government departments, and selected 4 acres of hilly riparian forest at the southwest corner of Gregory Boulevard and Jackson Avenue for the site of a forest restoration project.
  • In 2018, CWR worked with over 100 volunteers and inspired pro-bono services to develop a derelict urban forest into a maintained site for nature walks and edible gardening, called Clement Forest. CWR also acquired donated equipment for a wood shop meant to transform fallen KC timber into sellable handcrafted wood products.
  • In 2019, CWR will continue constructing seating and raised beds in the walking trail, removing invasive species to achieve an airy walking experience that will feel safer for the local visitors who frequent the trail.  CWR is working with Engineers Without Borders and Youth Volunteer Corps to construct a pilot off-grid home structure, which will teach youth about STEM fields and environmental responsibility.  CWR plans to partner with local entrepreneurs to sell wood products made from the forest's fallen timber in order to fuel mission work. CWR is also planning to train and certify a staff member as a Forest Therapy Guide in order to serve mental health clients by sharing self-management and coping skills, part of the Forest Therapy Program. Success depends solely upon the availability and coordination of funding.
Evidence of Impact Potential
The residents near Clement Forest trail frequently encounter lifestyle restrictions isolating them from financial opportunity and shortening their expected lifespan. In our project's zip code (64132), we see evidence every day of disparity.
  • Metro-wide lowest lifespan
  • 45% below federal poverty level
  • within a severe USDA food desert
  • 97% African-American
These statistics occur just one mile away from an 80% Caucasian affluent area of the metro.  Disparity motivates simmering racial conflict and the notoriously high KC crime rate.
Needs Statement

Help improve food access for people who lack close grocery stores, via raised beds growing vegetables at the Clement Forest trailhead providing nutritious harvestable food as needed to visitors.

  • $4,000 in 2019 for raised-bed construction, permaculture-designed gardens, and support for east KC volunteers.
Help at-risk youth work alongside professional engineers on a housing project that can be multiplied in remote areas of the world with low access to utilities.
  • $20,000 need anticipated in 2019 to construct a pilot off-grid home and support youth volunteers.
Help improve mental health for people living within walking distance of their neighborhoods' first ever safe walking trail, giving them access to a nature-immersive experience proven to more quickly restore peace of mind.
  • $64,500 in 2019 for 2 bridges, trail cameras and Forest Therapy Guide Certification.
Help generate small-scale economic opportunity for urban core residents, with the use of virtual and in-person retail outlets made available to residents for selling their handcrafted goods.
  • $87,000 need anticipated in 2019 to match EPA funding for equipment acquisition.
Help back up all services with solid administrative support.
  • $72,000 in 2019 provides salary and benefits for one full-time staff member. 
Service Categories
Environment NEC
Educational Services
Home Improvement/Repairs
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County
Geographic Area Served Narrative We serve the inner southeast neighborhoods of Kansas City, south of Blue Parkway to the Grandview Triangle, and between US Hwy 71 on the western border, to Interstate 435 on the eastern border.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement

In both urban and rural areas, people experience crippling symptoms of poverty—symptoms likely to sway the trajectory of children's future career achievements and parenting success; symptoms likely to cement an adult's life expectancy way below the life expectancies of people who earn moderate and upper incomes. There is a growing population of Americans, previously a fringe group, whose lifestyles resemble the lifestyles of people living in third-world countries.

We're surprised by the generally held belief that the 'green' lifestyle belongs only to people who are able to afford them. You can see this belief suggested throughout messages within American collective media culture, and evident in the fundamental tenets of our market system. During my years of work serving people with the lowest incomes in our developed nation, I saw very few people who earn low incomes utilizing cost-saving technologies hailed by more affluent groups.

But in the Ozarks, there are a few families who use their meager incomes to invest in annual food plant seeds, solar and wind power, and to build modest homes which use proportionally less utilities per square foot than the standard home. Those are the low-income families who do not mind their low incomes, and we were intrigued by them.

We've resolved to seek out, test and share simple, low-cost solutions for enriching food access, home utility performance and local self-reliant economic systems. Our efforts begin with local pilot projects with the support of cooperating organizations that share our values. We look forward to discovering opportunities to scale those efforts to wider geographic areas in coming years.

Joy Ellsworth, co-founder and President


In Summer 2019, a team from Youth Volunteer Corps of Greater Kansas City will be dedicating their Summer of Service to building a tool storage shed and seed starting room in one building at Clement Forest. Engineers Without Borders of Kansas City will be providing planning and construction expertise, as well as mentoring for the young people building the 'off-grid' structure.

This project is named after a founding board member who worked through a battle with cancer to finish her own proof-of-concept housing project in southeastern Missouri. Mary Severin built a 2,200 square-foot earth-contact off-grid home of her own design with her husband and son before passing away in November 2018. She trained our construction staff, and we will miss her dearly.

Our structure will only be a few hundred square feet, but it will serve as a pilot project for more utility independent housing structures that can be used in communities across the world where utilities are costly and housing is scarce.

Program Budget $67,100.00
Category Youth Development, General/Other Youth Citizenship
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success

With the assistance and partnership of Youth Volunteer Corps of Greater Kansas City, we expect that this program will introduce all participants to the STEM fields of construction, engineering and architecture. The program will give over 400 hours of hands-on construction experience to youth who would not otherwise be exposed to a housing construction project. The program will also expose youth to environmental problems present in urban areas, and innovative solutions to resolve those problems.

For 12 months after the completion of the pilot building, members of Engineers Without Borders of Kansas City will monitor the success of the structure in at least the following areas:

  • Does the structure automatically maintain comfortable internal temperatures?

  • Does the structure successfully filter captured rainwater to potable quality?

  • Is electricity collected and adequately stored using solar panels and a battery bank?

We look forward to learning from their conclusions.

Long-Term Success

If the structure is successful at functioning with relatively low maintenance required, Engineers Without Borders of Kansas City will consider moving the project to more remote areas of the world experiencing both an economic downturn and a housing crisis.

The remaining tool storage shed and seed starting room will make the food gardens and 'green' water filtration installments of Clement Forest easier to maintain. The success of this project will make Clement Forest a more sustainable dedicated space.

Program Success Monitored By YVC-GKC and EWB-KC are going to be tracking the successes of program participants. We will monitor and report the number of plants started and successfully transplanted out of the greenhouse area of this project.
Examples of Program Success We look forward to providing examples of program success during this first year of activity.

Contingent upon funding for training and salaries, Clement Waters Retreat (CWR) will provide staff and training for guided forest therapy sessions lasting around two hours—referred to as 'walks'. Staff will provide instructions—referred to as 'invitations'—for exploration of natural features. Staff will also facilitate meditative thought in a nature immersive environment.

CWR plans to begin the 6-month Forest Therapy Guide certification process in April 2019 and begin offering guided forest therapy to the general public as soon as June 2019. After certification has been achieved in November 2019, CWR plans to form cooperative agreements primarily with mental health providers serving east Kansas City residents.

Program Budget $25,600.00
Category Mental Health, Substance Abuse Programs, General/other Specialized Therapy
Population Served At-Risk Populations
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success In 2019 we will count a client-providing partnership with a mental health provider in Kansas City, Missouri, as a great success. We will consider added numbers of provider partnerships during each year following this first year an indicator of continued success.
Long-Term Success Ideally, more residents of the Kansas City metro area will see time in nature as a relevant and available solution for mental health self-management. That realization will lead to people accessing nature-immersive experiences more often. Based on emerging research about stress, morality and nature-immersive experiences, we expect that trend to have a cooling effect on crime.
Program Success Monitored By Pre- and post-surveys will be conducted with program participants to determine the effect of guided forest therapy on their perceived path toward better mental health.
Examples of Program Success Already, visitors to the forest trail report a refreshing feeling during and after their visit. Words used by visitors during a walk to describe how they feel have included "light," "freeing," "airy" and "calming."

Contingent upon an equipment acquisition grant from the Environmental Improvement and Energy Resources Authority combined with the funding of startup supporters, we will launch this mission-related earnings venture in 2019 to support the costs associated with our other two programs.

The NEIGHBOR Handcrafted Goods (NHG) venture will reclaim fallen timber from east Kansas City residents who cannot afford tree removal, using a portable sawmill and a portable tub grinder. We will turn peripheral limbs into mulch for resale to landscaping companies and garden stores, and we will turn the timber into planks and boards for construction into live-edge furniture and wooden home goods.

Staff hired from the neighborhoods surrounding Clement Forest will work alongside the founders at farmers market venues in Kansas City selling hardwood wares and quality handmade crafts made in east Kansas City neighborhoods, and souvenirs touting Clement Waters Retreat's environmental advocacy message.
Program Budget $149,900.00
Category Community Development, General/Other Small & Minority Business Development Programs
Population Served Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success
Short-term success for us would not be measured by the mere startup of this venture (which requires sizable investment to launch) because our demonstrated capacity to run a business is not the point of starting the venture. The point is to open opportunities for secondary income for quality hobbyists living in an impoverished urban area, and to create awareness in more affluent circles that environmentalism is currently embraced and appreciated at all socio-economic strata. Successfully launching a kiosk at the famous City Market in Kansas City's River Market district would achieve a baseline level of success for both of those main goals.
After launch we will observe interactions and define measurable indicators which express the economic position of participating vendors, as well as levels of awareness and acceptance of key environmental advocacy issues by shoppers at City Market. We will also track sales to indicate the actual economic success of participating vendors.
Long-Term Success
Most of the 4,000+ trees that fall in Kansas City, MO every year fall on residential properties. Many of those residents cannot pay for tree removal, and the result is more termite infestation in homes, and unexpected flooding damage where floodwaters are diverted toward homes by fallen trees. We would consider the slow of blight that comes about as a result of wood rot to be a desirable long-term success.
The neighborhoods surrounding Clement Forest are on the southern edge of Swope Park, the largest municipally controlled park in the nation. Those neighborhoods are also on the eastern edge of the Blue River Greenway, a tributary riparian area feeding into the Missouri River. Both areas are full of forest managed by government offices that could use the cooperation of an additional conservation-minded land management resource. We would consider the improvement of undergrowth health as a result of swifter forest timber removal after falls to be a desirable long-term success. 
Program Success Monitored By Our leadership team guides the organization with the guiding principal that program evaluation is vital for guiding effective use of programs. Any new program needs a feasible short-term launch plan and the resources behind it to demonstrate its worth. We look forward to testing our theory that this program will impact the economic health of east Kansas City in a way that also will improve east Kansas City's environmental health. Our mentors at institutions like the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership and KC SCORE will continue to be essential to our success in monitoring the effectiveness of our efforts.
Examples of Program Success A generous supporter donated wood shop equipment to be used exclusively in this program, and we have identified an existing vacant facility within walking distance of Clement Forest which would be an excellent workshop and small storefront to display hardwood furniture and home goods. At least two textile artists within the Gregory Ridge neighborhood have expressed an intent to contribute their wares for sale. We look forward to reporting cases of proprietary success for individuals living in the immediate area in the coming year. As the poverty rate in the surrounding neighborhoods currently sits at around 50%, we feel the potential for personal economy improvement is great.
CEO Comments
Thank you for taking the time to find out more about our growing programs.  As an environmental equity and advocacy organization, we look forward to a time when our programs' successes can be leveraged to create opportunities for regenerative economic success for more marginalized communities across the globe.  But first, we're starting local, right here in the east side of Kansas City.
We invite you to join in our bold call for people of all abilities and backgrounds to discover how renewing the planet's health can benefit their well-being too. Rather than thinking of this position as an elevated fight for think tanks to tackle at a policy level, we challenge everyday people to adopt the spirit of this work.
What can be done to make a real-world, right-now difference?  We can all adopt a life paradigm of cooperation across dividing lines. We can all adopt a life paradigm that views 'enough' as 'plenty' without shame. We all can explore what happens when you and I view natural resources as our partners in need of care. When more people 'get it,' the world will be a better place to live for everyone.
Thank you for your daring.
Joy Ellsworth, co-founder of Clement Waters Retreat
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Mrs. Joy Ellsworth
Term Start Jan 2014
Experience Joy received her M.P.A. from the Bloch School of Management at UMKC, where she focused on social entrepreneurship. Prior to committing full-time effort at Clement Waters Retreat, she ran a consulting firm that specializes in nonprofit strategic planning and funding strategy. Her most recent executive leadership post was at 37th Judicial Court Appointed Special Advocates in West Plains, Missouri, held from March 2015 to May 2016, when her family moved back to Kansas City.
Paid Full-Time Staff 0
Paid Contractors 0
Volunteers 136
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policy and Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
In 2019 we are working with Engineers Without Borders of Kansas City and Youth Volunteer Corps of Greater Kansas City to build an off-grid pilot structure that can function as a home in areas of the world where there is poor access to utilities and low access to housing.
Cohort MemberProject United Knowledge2017
FellowSprint Accelerator2018
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
CEO Comments The greatest challenge facing Clement Waters Retreat at the beginning of 2019 is a mismatch between the amount of effort being put in to coordinate programs and the amount of funding available to provide wages and benefits for employees. In fact, at the outset of 2019 there is such a mismatch between funding for wages and work being done that it would be imprudent to place any would-be employees into earnings agreements. We are seeking community partners who want to strengthen our body of work with steadfast financial backing.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mrs. Joy Ellsworth
Company Affiliation Ellsworth Collaborative LLC
Term Jan 2014 to Jan 2020
Board Members
Mrs. Lea Ann Christopher MBAWillow Springs Community Foundation
Mrs. Joy Ellsworth MPAEllsworth Collaborative LLC
Mrs. Marie EllsworthRetired, Gregory Ridge Neighborhood Association
Ms. Darlis Malindi CPASunrise Tax & Accounting LLC
Mr. Carl StaffordMy Region Wins!, Gregory Ridge Neighborhood Association
Ms. Connie StewartMaster Gardener, Community Volunteer
Mr. Stephen Van RheinMissouri Department of Conservation
Mr. James VokacRetired Physics Teacher
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 5
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 75%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 33%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 6
Standing Committees
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Fiscal Year Start Apr 01, 2018
Fiscal Year End Mar 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $67,000
Projected Expenses $65,050
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 3/31/2018, 2017: Financial data reported using internal financial documents.
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$475----
Administration Expense$25----
Fundraising Expense$0----
Payments to Affiliates$0----
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.20----
Program Expense/Total Expenses95%----
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$100----
Current Assets$100----
Long-Term Liabilities$0----
Current Liabilities$1----
Total Net Assets$99----
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities100.00----
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%----
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount ------
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Organization Comments Our fiscal year ends in March, so the figures reflected on the internal financial statements are at least nine months old. Updated internal financials will be provided. 
Other Documents
Organization Name Clement Waters
Address 1012 E Lakeview Ave
Olathe, KS 66061
Primary Phone (816) 944-1491
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Joy Ellsworth
Board Chair Mrs. Joy Ellsworth
Board Chair Company Affiliation Ellsworth Collaborative LLC
Year of Incorporation 2014
Former Names
Clement Waters Retreat