WARSAW — The Beyer Brady Trail, one of the many beautiful parks in Warsaw, recently received updates to the signage and overall experience as part of the Clean Waters Partnership, an extension of The Watershed Foundation in the Warsaw-Winona area.
The community of Warsaw and Winona Lake thrive on the relationship among the businesses, community, and natural beauty of the area. For many years, Warsaw Park’s Beyer Brady Farm trail has offered an interpretive nature hiking and biking trail that attracts locals and tourists as a partnership between the City of Warsaw and the Kosciusko County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).
Over the years the interpretive signs explaining the flora and fauna of the area started to show some signs of age, prompting the Kosciusko SWCD to approach the City of Warsaw to consider replacement signs. These new signs were recently completed with funding by the Kosciusko County Convention, Recreation & Visitors Commission and the Kosciusko SWCD – along with a new way to experience the trails!
Additionally the City of Winona donated usage of its “OnCell” service that allows people to connect with their cell phones for more in-depth information about the features on the trail. The Center for Lakes & Streams and the Kosciusko SWCD worked together to determine the educational content and designs and phone messages.
“The new wetland signs, a wonderful, collaborative community effort, offer the chance to learn about these amazing ecosystems and appreciate their value to the watershed,” said Darci Zolman, Education Coordinator for the Kosciusko County Soil and Water Conservation District.
The 1.2-mile Beyer Farm Trail runs along Pike Lake Park, the board walk and through a 60-acre urban wetland. Its unique location, being both in the wetland and beside Pike Lake make it a unique section of the extensive community trail system that extends throughout Warsaw and the Town of Winona.
The two-thirds of a mile trail begins on the Kosciusko Community Hospital campus near the Health & Wellness Center and terminates at Pike Lake Park. A 10′ wide asphalt path travels a short distance before entering the urban wetland on the eastern shore of Pike Lake. A 1,800 linear foot boardwalk that was refurbished just this year by the Warsaw Park’s Department meanders through the 60-acre wetland. Upon exiting the wetland, an asphalt trail parallels the lakeshore to the campground at Pike Lake Park.
“The boardwalk through the wetlands on the Beyer Brady Trail gives the opportunity to easily venture into a wetland and experience the rich biodiversity there,” said Zolman.
In 2016, The Watershed Foundation received an Indiana Department of Environmental Management grant to begin working with a group of public and private partners in the Warsaw-Winona area, referred to as the Clean Waters Partnership. This collaboration of community leaders help steer The Watershed Foundation’s efforts in developing a watershed management plan for protecting and improving water quality in the Warsaw-Winona area.
The education subcommittee of the Clean Waters Partnership identified the Beyer Boardwalk as an opportunity to collaborate and enhance the public education at the site. Together as a part of that committee, the City of Warsaw, the Kosciusko County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Center for Lakes & Streams, Pike Lake Preservation Association, the Town of Winona, and The Watershed Foundation worked to make this happen.
Over the past 19 years, TWF has worked with partners to implement over 150 water quality improvement projects. In the last three years alone, these efforts have prevented over 556 million pounds of weeds and algae from growing in area lakes and streams. Together, we are making a difference.