News Briefs

Save these 2014 Dates!

  • Wine on the Wetlands - August 1, 5 to 8:30 pm at Eagle Marsh
  • Monarch Festival at Eagle Marsh – September 13, 11 to 3pm
  • Frogapalooza – October 24, 6pm at Fort Wayne Country Club

Take a selfie at Eagle Marsh, win a car

Eagle Marsh has been chosen as one of nine Indiana sites where you can take a photo of yourself between August 1 and September 30 to submit to The Nature Conservancy’s Natural Treasures sweepstakes for a chance to win a Honda Civic hybrid. Residents of Ohio, Indiana or Alabama who are at least 18 years old can enter. The more selected sites you visit—and you can choose one of your own--the better your chance to win. Learn more at nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/natural-treasures.xml

Eagle Marsh helps make Fort Wayne a “Bird Town”

Fort Wayne has been named a “Bird Town Indiana” by the Indiana Audubon Society, which recognizes communities committed to the conservation of birds and their habitats. Eagle Marsh and LRWP’s nature education programs were among those cited in a Journal-Gazette article as important in earning the designation, which may help make northeast Indiana a destination for birders from all over the U.S.

News Updates

LRWP and local wineries offer “Wine on the Wetlands” August 1

Join us for “Wine on the Wetlands,” a wine-tasting fundraiser hosted by LRWP at Eagle Marsh on Friday, August 1, from 5 to 8:30 p.m. The evening will feature wines from the Wine Tour Wineries of Indiana’s Northeast, a consortium of seven Indiana wineries. Food from local chefs, including sweets by Fort Wayne Chocolate Fountain, will accompany the wines.

Dress is casual, with the event to take place in the Eagle Marsh barn and in a large tent set up for the occasion. Guests will receive a commemorative wine glass and can take a guided walk to see the preserve at dusk if they wish.

Call 260-478-2515 in advance to reserve your place ($35 each) as attendance will be limited to 400 people. Attendees must be age 21 or older.

Preliminary BioBlitz Findings

They came, they saw, they reported--nearly 100 Indiana scientists, experts in a variety of fields, converged on Eagle Marsh for 24 hours May 31-June 1 to identify all possible plants and animals at the preserve. The sheer number of species found was impressive, and the survey included rarities such as the Blandings turtle, endangered in Indiana and nearby states. Several scientists noted that the level of biodiversity at the marsh was very good considering the wetland was restored only eight years ago.

Final reports will come in over the next few months, but preliminary findings included: An estimated 250 species of native plants and 50 aliens, with most of the latter well controlled

  • 73 bird species, a high number considering this is not migrating season--the total number of different bird species seen at Eagle Marsh is now 225
  • Five species of frogs, three of turtles, two of snakes, and larva of three kinds of salamanders
  • 31 species of fish and four of crayfish
  • Four species of small mammals, including the meadow jumping mouse
  • 19 species of butterflies, including monarchs and a Delaware skipper, possibly the first in Allen County
  • Other insects: an estimated 300-400 kinds of beetles, 12 species of flies that eat snails, and three kinds of “singing insects” (most of these emerge later in the summer)
  • (Note: macro invertebrates will be reported later)

When all the BioBlitz data are in, they will begin to give us an inventory of everything found at Eagle Marsh on the above date as a baseline for future measurements. They will also help us plan how to enhance habitat, where possible, for rare or endangered species present, such as the Blandings turtle.

Our sincere thanks to the Indiana Academy of Science for selecting Eagle Marsh as a BioBlitz site, the participating scientists, and three organizations whose funding helped defray some of the BioBlitz costs: the Edward D. and Ione Auer Foundation, the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne and Phillips Financial Services.

Board elections

At LRWP’s June 18 annual meeting, four board members were re-elected for three-year terms: Ronnie Greenberg, Thom Maher, Larry (“Doc”) Wiedman and Dan Zweig.

At the June 18 board meeting, the following board officers were re-elected: Bill Etzler, president; Thom Maher, vice president; Marlene Sloat, treasurer; and Judy Nelsen, secretary. Re-elected to the executive committee to serve under the leadership of the board president were Judy Nelsen, Tom Russell, and Larry (“Doc”) Wiedman.

Board changes

LRWP is pleased to welcome three new members to its board:

Pat Hess is a local attorney specializing in real estate transactions and a former land use planner for the Allen County Department of Planning Services. He has also served as Chairman of the Indiana Land Use and Zoning Section.

Kathie Sessions is a retired Canterbury High School chemistry teacher with long service on the Friends of the Philharmonic board and involvement with several other local charities. Kathie is also an avid skier, bicyclist, and gardener.

Mary Tonne is Controller, General Motors Fort Wayne Assembly Plant, and a 2013 graduate of Leadership Fort Wayne. She has worked to facilitate LRWP’s partnership with GM on mutual projects.

One of the new members fills a vacant board position and two replace recent retirees Barry Ellis, former board treasurer, and Joe Huguenard, who served as LRWP’s half-time interim executive director before new executive director Amy Silva was hired. The contributions that Barry and Joe have made to LRWP are much appreciated.

Update on construction at Eagle Marsh

Current plans by federal and state agencies are to construct an enlarged berm on the south side of the Graham-McCulloch Ditch at Eagle Marsh starting in fall, 2014 to prevent the transfer of Asian carp and other invasive species between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds. An area of 35 - 60 acres at Eagle Marsh will be affected, with the government agencies responsible for reseeding disturbed areas and LRWP involved in helping oversee the work. We did not ask to have this major disruption of our preserve but understand the need to fight all types of problematic invasive species just as we must always combat non-native invasive plants at our properties.

There will likely be some positives to the project. First, we hope to be able to develop a trail along the top of the newly enlarged berm, allowing a view of almost the entire Eagle Marsh from above. Second, a wetland mitigation will be undertaken elsewhere to make up for the loss of wetland acres at Eagle Marsh, and we hope it may be within our watershed. Finally, once the project is completed, the existing carp fence at Eagle Marsh will be taken down.