News Briefs

Bald eagles have fledged

Two young bald eagles, raised in a nest near the border of Eagle Marsh, have fledged and have been seen flying and roosting around the preserve. We are delighted that the eagle parents have successfully raised two young each of the past three years at Eagle Marsh, and that the nest at Arrowhead Marsh, near Roanoke, appears to have fledged two eaglets this year as well.

Berm Construction at Eagle Marsh

Government construction to enlarge the berm on the Graham-McCulloch Ditch at Eagle Marsh has resumed. For your safety, please stay away from the work area at all times. Remaining open are Trails 1 and 2 at the west end of the preserve; Trails 7, 8 and 9 east of the gravel road leading to the barn; and the southern part of Trail 6. All other trails are closed until the work is completed, hopefully by the end of 2015.

Eagle Marsh Trail Maps and Directions

Save these dates for 2015!

  • Monarch Festival at Eagle Marsh - September 13
  • Frogapalooza 2015 - October 23

News Updates

Monarch Festival Takes Wing on September 13

LRWP’s fifth annual Monarch Festival at Eagle Marsh will be held on Sunday, September 13, from noon to 4pm. At this free family-friendly event, visitors will learn about monarchs’ lifecycle, migration, and threats to their survival. They can view live monarchs from egg to adult and hike among towering sunflowers to see a variety of butterflies. Activities will include interacting with live butterflies, a presentation on monarchs in their winter home, children flying gliders to simulate the butterflies’ migration path and much more.

The Monarch Festival is presented with major support from Lutheran Health Network and a Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities grant through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

New this year will be a station where guests can learn how to tag monarchs and why it is important to track their amazing 2,000+-mile migration to their wintering grounds. To counter threats to the butterflies’ survival, varieties of milkweed, the only plant on which monarchs can lay their eggs, will be given away for planting in home gardens or at the preserve. Another new event feature will be a Pollinator Farmers Market where visitors can purchase native plants for their gardens to help butterflies and other pollinators survive. As monarch populations drop, the Monarch Festival showcases the butterflies’ plight but also emphasizes what anyone--from home gardeners to businesses to farmers--can do to help.

Special thanks to our Monarch Festival Presenting Sponsor

Additional support provided by:

  • Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities grant through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
  • General Motors
  • Coventry Meadows

Frogapalooza Celebrates LRWP’s 25th Anniversary October 23

LRWP’s sixth annual Frogapalooza fundraiser on Friday, October 23 (6 to 9 p.m.) at the Fort Wayne Country Club will be pretty special, because we’ll celebrate our 25th anniversary that evening. Our theme is “take your imagination for a hike,” and you’ll know why when you learn how far we’ve come and hear our exciting plans. Be ready for a surprise announcement over dessert!

The event, presented by Phillips Financial Services, will begin with drinks (cash bar), hors d’oeuvres, and a great silent auction with items from hard-to-get sports tickets to entertainment packages to unique nature experiences. Your choice of dinner entrées will be served at your table, and our live auction features one-of-a-kind getaways as well as gourmet experiences and a Lake Erie fishing weekend.

Tickets are $100 per person, $800 or $1,000 per table. Call 260-478-2515 to pay by credit card or mail your check to LRWP, 7902 Engle Road, Suite 200, Fort Wayne IN 46804. Click here for more details, including our list of great live and silent auction items so far.

Board members, officers re-elected

At LRWP’s annual meeting on June 17, members present re-elected five board members to new three-year terms: Bill Etzler (board president), Marlene Sloat (finance committee), Kathie Sessions (development committee), Karen Surguine (development committee) and Renee Wright (Facebook page administrator).

At the board meeting that immediately followed, Bill Etzler was re-elected board president, Thom Maher vice president, Marcia Futter treasurer, and Judy Nelsen secretary. Elected or re-elected to serve on the executive committee (chaired by the board president) were board members Marcia Futter, Judy Nelsen, Tom Russell, and Marlene Sloat.

Major berm construction begins at Eagle Marsh

After several years of planning by federal and state agencies, with the help of LRWP staff, the several-million-dollar berm construction project at Eagle Marsh has begun. One of the first tasks completed was a special fence to keep turtles (especially endangered Blanding’s turtles known to live at Eagle Marsh) and snakes from hibernating in the berm along the east side of the Graham-McCulloch Ditch, which will be under construction before they might awaken. Also, some trails at the preserve have been closed to visitors (see News Briefs).

During construction, the berm along the east side of the Graham-McCulloch Ditch at Eagle Marsh will be widened to about 80 feet and built about two feet higher in most places. This larger barrier is designed to make sure that when the St Marys River (which flows toward Lake Erie) experiences a significant flood event and sends water back down Junk Ditch into Eagle Marsh, it will not mix with high water from the Graham-McCulloch Ditch, which flows toward the Wabash.

The soil used to enlarge the berm will come from digging out and widening several existing ponds at Eagle Marsh. LRWP preferred not to use soils from elsewhere, which can contain seeds of invasive plants.

After the construction is complete--in 2015 if all goes according to plan—the new berm will be seeded with grasses and LRWP will be responsible for its routine maintenance. The chain-linked fence, built earlier at Eagle Marsh to prevent Asian carp from moving to the Great Lakes watershed during a major flood event, will also be removed and a smaller fence installed in the berm near the railroad tracks.

While this major disruption of our preserve will be uncomfortable, we understand the need to fight problematic invasive species, just as we must always combat non-native invasive plants at our properties.