SYRACUSE — Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation is thrilled to announce one of its most important wetland acquisitions since its founding in 1991: the Ricks property.
The wetland includes 25 acres located at Turkey Creek Road at the east end of Lake Wawasee. The property includes the inlet stream and mouth of Turkey Creek and has 365 feet of frontage shoreline. WACF secured this wetland through the estate of Patricia Ricks, through her son, Brian Ricks.
Indiana ranks tied for third worst state in loss of wetlands since 1780 according to the U.S. Geological Survey. A tour around the lakes will confirm the Wawasee Watershed has experienced similar loss and WACF believes the loss of even one acre of important wetlands is too much.
“WACF has been focused on preserving and protecting our watershed for thirty years,” stated Tom Yoder, WACF board member and land acquisition chairman. “The Ricks property was identified in 1991 as an important acquisition due to its location and dense wetlands. We are grateful we can honor the Ricks family and protect this property.”
Wetlands represent a lake’s natural counterbalance because they filter out excess nutrients. Phosphorous and nitrates feed organisms that lead to blue-green algae and poor water quality. Sediment carries the nutrients into the lake and it, too, leads to poor water quality. This property encompasses the mouth of Turkey Creek, the dominant tributary feeding water through the lake system. The wetlands on this property are considered emergent wetlands, the last remaining on Lake Wawasee.
“WACF is grateful to the Ricks family for their willingness to continue dialogue with us for nearly 20 years as they considered how to best manage their property,” shared Heather Harwood, WACF executive director. “We are humbled by the donors that have stepped forward to help us make this purchase and drive our mission. We also recognize the support of the community who share their time, talent and treasure with us.”
Preserving and protecting our lakes takes the collective work of many. Together we are making a difference.