EAGLE MARSH ADDS WETLANDS

photo by Steve S. Ross Painted Turtle found in the wetland preserve at Eagle Marsh.
photo by Steve S. Ross Painted Turtle found in the wetland preserve at Eagle Marsh.
Little River Wetlands Project, a local nature organization, has just purchased 22.4 acres of mature forested wetland adjoining the south border of Eagle Marsh, its wetland preserve under restoration southwest of Fort Wayne.

“We are very grateful to the Indiana Heritage Trust Fund, The Nature Conservancy in Indiana, the M.E. Raker Foundation, the Edward M. and Mary McCrea Wilson Foundation, and Acres Land Trust for help in making this acquisition,” says Betsy Yankowiak, LRWP’s Executive Director. “With it Eagle Marsh, already the largest nature preserve in Allen County and the third largest wetland restoration in Indiana, has increased to 705 acres of varied wildlife habitat. The preserve is now the size of 534 football fields, including end zones.” LRWP bought the 22.4 acres on April 9.

The new property, along with seven acres acquired in 2007, will be called the Eagle Marsh Woods. This mature woods adds to the variety of habitat at Eagle Marsh, which already includes ponds, marshy areas, prairie, and newly planted trees and shrubs. Over 130 species of birds, including ten that are endangered or of special concern in Indiana, have already been seen at the preserve. At least four salamander species are present along with many other amphibians, reptiles, and animals such as muskrats, beavers, coyotes, and deer. There is one recreational trail leaving from the Boy Scout office parking lot on Olde Canal Place Road and others will be completed by 2009. Guided tours through the new woods will be offered at the group’s Open House at Eagle Marsh from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 21.

“Everyone at LRWP is very pleased,” says Yankowiak, “that this mature forested wetland will be protected from development in perpetuity and our dream of creating a fully restored wetland ecosystem at Eagle Marsh has moved one step closer to reality.” The group will call on its members, volunteers, and others for help taking care of the new property, Yankowiak added.

Little River Wetlands Project, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit land trust established in 1990. Its mission is to restore and protect wetlands in the Little River watershed southwest of Fort Wayne and to provide educational programs that inspire and challenge individuals to be good stewards of all natural resources. Besides Eagle Marsh, LRWP owns two preserves totaling 188 acres near the town of Aboite, Indiana. Its nature hikes and nature education programs are free and open to the public. For more information, please visit www.lrwp.org <www.lrwp.org&gt; or call 260-478-2515.

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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