The Little River Wetlands Project (LRWP) and Hamlets West Homeowners Association have collaborated to create a coloring book and mural that describe the history of the Little River Valley. LRWP’s Wetland Educator, Aly Munger, created the artwork for the coloring book and mural, while Hamlets West resident, Beth Ricketts, created the storyboard and led the project.
The mural is located at 10385 Woodland Ridge West, Fort Wayne, IN 46804. The project was funded by the 2021 City Neighborhood Grant.
The Little River Valley located in southwest Fort Wayne has historical significance, beginning with the creation of the valley by the torrent of the Great Lake Maumee over 10,000 years ago, to the Miami who lived there, to the building of the Wabash and Erie Canal. The Little River Valley runs south of U.S. 24 from Eagle Marsh to Huntington.
The Miami lived, farmed, and hunted in this valley until being forced to relocate from their land in 1846. The Wabash and Erie Canal transported people and cargo in the Little River Valley from 1835 until the 1870s. After the canal was discontinued due to the introduction of railroads, the old towpath was converted into the interurban railroad, which ran from Fort Wayne to Huntington.
The land has been farmed by generations of families and now, some land is permanently conserved by organizations such as the Little River Wetlands Project. If you would like to learn more about LRWP, visit www.lrwp.org
The Little River Valley coloring book is available for purchase from the Visit Fort Wayne Visitors Center, LC Nature Park, and the Little River Wetlands Project office. Proceeds benefit the mission of LRWP.