NORTH WEBSTER — The adage from the movie “Field of Dreams,” to “build it and they will come,” is the hope of the Barbee Lakes Property Owners Association. Near the tip of a peninsula on Irish Lake, a 35-foot pole was erected Tuesday morning, Nov. 14. At the top of the pole is the base for an osprey nest.
The hope is osprey or even eagles will use the nest as a new home. This is one of two proposed osprey nests planned by the BLPOA. The second one will be erected next year.
“We are giving back to the lake what the lake’s given us over the years,” said Larry Emmick, BLPOA director. “It’s beautiful here.”
The idea was originally presented to the association board and a survey taken of residents. The response was that of excitement, according to Emmick. The search began to find a suitable location for the nest. Approximately four locations were looked at, but the ground was not suitable to support the pole.
The spot that was found to work, was on the south side of EMS B38A Lane on Irish Lake. Ron Baumgartner, property owner, donated a portion of that property for the nest.
Emmick noted a number of businesses came on board for the project, volunteering their time and expertise.
George Hiatt and Roger Bruce, both BLPOA directors, are the project coordinators. Help was enlisted from Scott Tinsley of Tinsley Tree Service, Warsaw; Chris Carmen, Lakeland Pier, Leesburg; for their expertise help in clearing and preparing the site, getting the nesting platform to the site and erecting the pole. Emmick and others worked on building the platform and start of the nest. The base is made of welded aluminum with vines used for the perimeter of the nest.
Bruce and employees of Tinsley Tree Service remained at the site after the pole was in place to attach support cables for stability. It took approximately one hour to erect the nest.
A number of others assisted in various ways on the project such as Jason and Sherri Renz, Joe Cleland, Steve Gesaman, Dusty Gesaman, Neal Schwartz, Dan Sivicek and Emmick. Area businesses also pitched it: Ace Hardware and Dave’s Electric, North Webster; Kosciusko County Highway Department; REMC, Warsaw; Walls Building, Pierceton and Phend and Brown, Leesburg.