Tippecanoe River Clean-Up Project Completes Final Phase

Pictured from left are Mike Kissinger, Matt Gilbert, Scott Fetters, Ed Roberts, Bob Conley, Amy Bloemendaal, John Tyler, Rod Edgell, Jim LeMasters, Nate Bosch, Jo Paczkowski, Stephen Becker, Jeff Gilbert.

A ribbon cutting was held on Wednesday, Oct. 26, for the now accessible Tippecanoe River. Pictured from left are Mike Kissinger, Matt Gilbert, Scott Fetters, Ed Roberts, Bob Conley, Amy Bloemendaal, John Tyler, Rod Edgell, Jim LeMasters, Nate Bosch, Jo Paczkowski, Stephen Becker, Jeff Gilbert.

WARSAW — The project addressing areas of excess fallen trees in the Tippecanoe River was completed this fall, reducing flooding and increasing recreation opportunities.

More than 280 logjams were removed from the 30-mile stretch of river from Oswego Lake to SR 19 as a strategy to allow for water to flow more freely and provide easier canoe and kayak paddling access in the Tippecanoe River.

The project is a collaboration led by the Center for Lakes & Streams along with Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Kosciusko County Office of Emergency Management, Kosciusko County Surveyor’s Office, Lake Tippecanoe Property Owners and Paddlers for Conservation.

The Nature Conservancy listed the Tippecanoe River as the eighth most important river in the world for biodiversity. Removal efforts focused on logjams of greatest severity, leaving smaller trees and other woody debris closer to the stream banks for beneficial wildlife habitat. While logjams have been removed making the river currently passable, future logjams will be removed when possible to keep the river open.

A paddling trip down the cleared portion of the Tippecanoe River from Oswego Lake to the Chinworth Bridge parking area near the CCAC is estimated to take approximately six hours, and the stretch from Chinworth Bridge to the DNR public access parking area at SR 19 takes approximately five hours to travel.

Funding for this project primarily came from DNR funds set aside for logjam removal efforts.  Local matching funds were obtained from the Kosciusko County Convention, Recreation, and Visitor Commission, various lake associations, corporations and private donors.

The Center for Lakes & Streams at Grace College conducts research, provides resources, engages and educates residents, and collaborates with local organizations in efforts to make the lakes and streams of Kosciusko County cleaner. More information is available here.

The ribbon cutting took place on Oct. 26.

The ribbon cutting was in celebration of the 280 logjams that were removed from the 30-mile stretch of river from Oswego Lake to SR. 19.

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