New Initiative Promotes Clean Water

DonationPicture6Jun2014

From left are Kirk Swaidner of Zimmer Corporation, Natalie Fierek of Tippecanoe Watershed Foundation, Robert Tess, and Dr. Nathan Bosch, Center for Lakes & Streams at Grace College.

The Tippecanoe Watershed Foundation announces a new partnership for clean water initiative for the Upper Tippecanoe River-Walnut Creek Watershed. This area encompasses the land and streams that flow through Warsaw and Winona Lake including Chapman, Center, Pike and Winona lakes.

The initiative unites support from Center for Lakes & Streams at Grace College, Kosciusko County Soil and Water Conservation District, Kosciusko County, city of Warsaw, town of Winona, industry, lake associations and organizations.

Pike Lake resident Robert Tess donated $1,000 and Winona Lake Preservation Association donated $500 to kick off the fundraising campaign to develop a watershed management plan. The partnership is seeking additional community support and donations for its first year.

In September, the partnership will submit a grant application for approximately $150,000 to the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to develop a comprehensive plan for improving water quality in the watershed in 2015-2016.

The Tippecanoe Watershed Foundation has been very successful in improving water quality in the Tippecanoe River-Grassy Creek Watershed which includes the Barbee Chain, Webster, and Tippecanoe Lakes – an area just upstream of the Walnut Creek Watershed. Since 1997, the Foundation has completed over 80 projects that were identified in their watershed plan as key to improving water quality.

Examples of these projects include the healthy shorelines initiative, ditch stabilization, cover crops and buffer areas for agricultural lands, fertilizer and manure management, wetland restoration, bioswales, rain gardens and the development of two-stage ditches. These water quality projects reduce pollutants in our lakes and streams, increase groundwater infiltration and can reduce flooding.

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