Our people, our partners, our history & how to reach us


Joy Ellsworth, MPA

Co-Founder, President

Joy is the administrative and promotional side of the effort, assisting the governing board, performing outreach, and pursuing partnerships and funding.

Luke Ellsworth

Co-Founder, Property Manager

Luke is the muscle and practical worker of the mom-and-pop founding pair.  Luke's expertise is in property maintenance, mechanical repair, technical hardware and security.

Lea Christopher, MBA

Lea serves on the governing board as Clement Waters' Treasurer, with experience in nonprofit bookkeeping.  Lea has written over $6M of funded grants for public projects.

Carl Stafford, BFA

Carl serves on the governing board as Nominating Committee Chair.  He is President of the Gregory Ridge Neighborhood Association, and Founder of MY REGION WINS!, a partner 501c3 nonprofit organization.

Marie Ellsworth

Marie is a retired director of an early childhood program, and has directed education and community development programs.

Connie Stewart

Connie serves on the governing board as master gardener, passionate idealist, and resident of Kansas City's urban core.

Jim Vokac

Jim serves on the governing board as a social activist, community organizer, philanthropist and retired educator.




A multidisciplinary nonprofit organization.

Mission Statement:

To transcend everyday challenges.

By using the Arts to nurture creative & undeveloped ideas that shape society.

. MRW! and Clement Waters work hand in hand to realize better lives through outdoor beauty.

Heartland Conservation Alliance

Staff and workgroup members of HCA have proven themselves precious beyond measure to our motion forward.  Working with like minds gives us the confidence that what we do matters.

Project United Knowledge

The instructors and mentors at PUK guide Clement Waters with endless patience.  Our founders are eternally grateful for every new chance to understand varying perspectives, which PUK presents whenever needed.


Finding opportunity where adversity lurks

In 2014, Joy and Luke Ellsworth founded Clement Waters after a career change had placed them in the middle of rural Missouri—a move forcing a sudden lifestyle change.  After the move, a long-term debilitating chronic condition that had been suffered by Luke mysteriously disappeared.

The sudden healing caused the Ellsworths to look at their new lifestyle with new eyes.  They asked themselves, "What made the difference?"


Their answers were: 1.) fresher food, 2.) more time with family, 3.) more time in nature, and

4.) more control over their home environment.

After studying more about self-sufficiency and survival techniques used by people earning low incomes living deep in rural areas, our founders returned to Kansas City to involve the efforts of activists, learners and experts—practicing what's possible in urban communities.

With combined effort from diverse sources, people earning very low incomes in KC will use more renewable urban natural resources to save money and live longer, better lives.




(816) 944-1491

7100 Norton Avenue *

Kansas City, MO 64132


(417) 469-1400

127 East Main Street
Willow Springs, MO  65793

* Mapped location has not been assigned a mail stop.  For KC matters, send mail to 1012 E. Lakeview Ave., Olathe, KS 66061


We are a nonprofit organization that helps people to become better stewards of gifts naturally available to all of humanity: our bodies, our communities and our planet.


A safe, calming nature walk nearby every neighborhood; communities reclaiming the wealth of generational food harvesting wisdoms; low-utility-usage homes built to be affordable for low-income families.




7100 Norton Ave.
Kansas City, MO  64132

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501(c)3 Tax-Exempt EIN: 47-3143607

Reviewed on Guidestar and GKCCF

© 2018 by Clement Waters Retreat