If you shop at Amazon and opt to use AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to LRWP if that is the charitable organization of your choice. Please visit smile.amazon.com for details and take this easy step to bring more funds to LRWP. Every item available for purchase on Amazon is also available on smile.amazon.com at the same price.
Are you playing the new game Pokémon GO? If so, you might like to know that the entrance to Eagle Marsh on Engle Road and the statue at the Boy Scout office (west entrance to Eagle Marsh) are both Poké Stops. Plus, you can walk the trails to get the kilometers you need to hatch eggs, catch new Pokémon and see some really neat wildlife while you’re at it. Have fun and come level up at the marsh! Gotta catch ‘em all, right? And, our Arrowhead Prairie preserve on Aboite Road is a Poké Stop too. Not to mention it's beautiful right now! (Reported on LRWP's Facebook page)
We're pleased that black-crowned night herons, endangered in Indiana, have been breeding at Eagle Marsh. Recently three adults and three juveniles were seen together at the preserve and at another time, four adults were spotted. The distinctively marked black, grey and white herons roost in trees during the day and come out at dusk to feed. (See photo on the home page).
Continental Divide trail to be introduced as well
Everyone is invited to join LRWP, Ducks Unlimited and their guests to celebrate the opening of the new Gateway to Eagle Marsh entrance area and Continental Divide Trail, to be held Saturday, October 8, from 10AM to noon at the Engle Road entrance to Eagle Marsh. Parking is available at Summit Brands (7201 Engle Road) and nearby areas, with handicapped parking at the Towpath Trailhead.
The celebration will kick off with the unveiling of a new Eagle Marsh entrance sign and a brief presentation recognizing those honored on two plaques at the site. One plaque identifies businesses and individuals who helped create Eagle Marsh, the largest inland urban wetland restoration in the country, by donating for its purchase and restoration. The other honors Ducks Unlimited members who have made significant contributions to wetlands conservation by supporting the Northeast Indiana Potholes Program. Refreshments will be provided by the Indiana Wildlife Federation.
At 10:30AM, the new 5K Continental Divide trail will be opened for an inaugural hike with Betsy Yankowiak, LRWP’s Director of Preserves and Programs. Much of the trail is on top the Graham-McCulloch Ditch berm enlarged during last year’s federal construction project at Eagle Marsh, allowing visitors to view almost the entire preserve from above. This construction slightly moved the continental divide.
Thanks to all the LRWP members who supported the Eagle Marsh Gateway project. Other major partners in this project are Ducks Unlimited and the Lupke Foundation, with important in-kind donations from the Hagerman Group, Vintage Archonics, McComb Family Foundation, Birkmeier and Sons Monument Company, Crosby Excavating, Erie Haven Concrete, and Harlow Enterprises.
A number of other trails that had been closed due to the above construction will also be reopened at the event. Hikes on the Continental Divide trail (Trail 5) and Eagle Marsh Trail 8 are part of the Allen County Trailblazers program.
Get ready for an evening of fun and fundraising at LRWP’s Frogapalooza 2016, presented by Phillips Financial Services, at 6PM on Saturday, October 22 at the Fort Wayne Country Club. You’ll help us honor LRWP co-founder and long-time environmentalist Sam Schwartz as a Hidden Hero of Conservation.
The event will begin with drinks (cash bar), hors d’oeuvres and a chance to bid on silent auction items from art and entertainment packages to hard-to-get sports tickets. After dinner, a live auction will offer getaways, a unique visit to our honoree’s farm restored to wildlife habitat, and more. A brief presentation on Sam’s many contributions to nature in Indiana and beyond will follow.
Tickets are $100 per person, $800 for a table of eight or $1,000 for a table of ten. Call 260-478-2515 during business hours to pay by credit card or mail your check to LRWP, 7209 Engle Road, Suite 200, Fort Wayne IN 46804. Be sure to indicate dinner preferences for yourselves and your guests: Chicken Chardonnay, pan-seared Atlantic salmon, or wild-mushroom Napoleon.
Click here for more details and a list of Frogapalooza auction items to date.
On a sunny Sunday, September 11th, almost 1,000 adults and children visited Eagle Marsh to attend LRWP’s sixth annual Monarch Festival. Besides viewing live monarchs from caterpillars to adults, they participated in dozens of educational activities to learn about the butterflies’ unique life cycle and amazing 2,000-mile migration. Many strolled through ten-foot-tall native wildflowers in bloom to observe monarchs and other butterflies in the wild.
Some participants volunteered to plant hundreds of milkweeds, the only plants on which monarchs lay their eggs, in an area of the preserve disturbed by recent construction. As another way to help monarchs recover from recent population declines, others took home a whorled, swamp or butterfly milkweed to start or enhance their butterfly gardens.
Many visitors purchased native plants, honey or artwork from a pollinators’ farmers market at the event. Some tagged and released close to 50 butterflies as part of a University of Kansas citizen science project.
Monarch butterflies weren’t the only spectacular sights in the sky that afternoon. Later in the day, Thunderbirds and other stunt airplanes from the nearby Fort Wayne Air Show put on their own display over Eagle Marsh.
The trails closed during last year’s construction at Eagle Marsh may look like they’re ready for visitors since a cover crop of native Virginia rye has begun to appear. But looks are deceptive—they’re still closed, probably until fall. That’s when permanent native plants, to be seeded this spring, will be well enough established to prevent erosion of the berm and provide habitat for native wildlife.
Still 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. We appreciate everyone’s consideration in staying off construction area trails until they reopen.
Walk or bike the Towpath Trail past the northeast corner of Engle Road and Smith Road in Fort Wayne, and you will see signs identifying the site as part of Eagle Marsh. It will soon be deeded to LRWP, but the government’s work of restoring the property to wetland continues, with the presence of heavy equipment, seeding, and planting expected until midsummer. This 38-acre addition, which is two acres larger than we were originally told, brings the size of our favorite preserve to a whopping 754 acres.