NORTH WEBSTER – Board members, staff and volunteers for The Watershed Foundation, an organization that has been taking action to improve the water quality of lakes and streams in the Upper Tippecanoe River Watershed, recently toured nearly a dozen project sites within the watershed in southwestern Noble County and northwestern Whitley County.
Led by TWF watershed conservationist and local farmer Scott Zeigler of Ormas, the tour traveled to locations within the Upper Tippecanoe River Watershed where TWF had partnered with farmers and landowners to address flooding, runoff and other water quality issues.
“For the past 25 years, TWF has been developing critical partnerships between landowners, lake residents and farmers all with a goal of actively improving our water quality in the lakes and streams of the watershed,” said Lyn Crighton, executive director of TWF. The watershed falls within a 236 square-mile area with more than 60 lakes — lakes that have been improving in cleanliness and clarity over the past several decades. “Working together, we’ve been able to tackle important, often expensive land and water projects that leave all of our partners feeling like meaningful work has been accomplished.”
During the tour, Zeigler was able to demonstrate where the introduction of water and sediment control basins, two-stage ditches, diversified plantings, field buffers, hidden drains, no-till and cover crops had been instrumental in slowing, holding and cleaning water — leading to better yields for farmers, better drainage and cleaner water flowing into lakes. Tour participants were able to walk through fields, ask questions and receive knowledgeable answers about the work TWF is doing.