Native Flowers and Fields Tour

A Clean Waters Partnership Event

Clean Waters Partnership

 

Native plants are picking up popularity in local landscapes, showing that gardens featuring native species of plants can be attractive, enhance the look of your property, improve water quality and so much more!

Join the Clean Waters Partnership as we tour six local examples of native plant gardens and restored prairies and fields…and then gather with us Tippy Creek Winery to talk more about plants and the Clean Waters Partnership’s efforts in our community! 

 

The Clean Waters Partnership (CWP) is hoping to further highlight the beauty and many benefits of native plants by hosting a driving tour of six sites around the northeastern part of our watershed.

Passport maps will be available at each location, so you can start at whichever location is best for you.

You will get a punch on your passport map at each location. Complete your passport map by visiting each location and then  turn it in at Tippy Creek Winery anytime between 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. on June 18, 2022, to be entered in our drawing. Prizes include a lawn fertilizer package from Wihebrink Property Management and more!

While you’re there, enjoy a glass of wine with us and chat about native plants as well as CWP’s efforts in our watershed.

There is no cost to attend, but PLEASE REGISTER for this event by visiting: https://bit.ly/3EW9cOS

This event is brought to you by the Clean Waters Partnership. An initiative of The Watershed Foundation was formed in YYYY bringing together local environmental groups to educate and promote projects to encourage environmental practices (insert mission statement for CWP). This partnership is comprised of The Watershed Foundation, WACF, KC Recycling, and Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams.

Event Sponsors include: Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams, Lake City Animal Health & Wellness and Dave & Peggy Wihebrink

Marquee Sponsors include: Main Channel Marina, Barbee Lakes Property Owners Association, Tippecanoe Lake Property Owners Association

The Clean Waters Partnership has organized a fun, flower-filled field tour to highlight the benefits of native plants. Each stop showcases a nearby location that has established native plantings. Join us and learn a few facts like:

  • Native plants attract local pollinators
  • Native plants help reduce pollution
  • Native plants can handle problem areas in your garden
  • Native plants provide shelter and food for wildlife

Did you know native plants help the environment?

They require much less watering, fertilizer and pesticides. In fact, they prevent water run-off and improve air quality. Native plants can help decrease pollution because they eliminate the need for mowers and other equipment.

On this self-navigated driving tour, you will visit each location (in any order you wish) visit with the docent to learn more about each site. Ask questions and marvel in the beauty these native plants provide. Get your passport map validated at each site you visit, then meet up at Tippy Creek Winery to drop your entry form into our drawing.

 

FEATURED LOCATIONS for our 2022 EVENT:

Butterfly Waystation/Rain Garden – 43-45 EMS C28 C Lane, Warsaw, IN 46582

Neighbors Peggy and Dave Wihebrink and Jacob and Katie Macke have an adjoining area that flourishes with butterflies, monarch caterpillars and birds of all kinds. They have used native plants that provide a variety of heights, colors and bloom times for nectar in this habitat. The native plants in their area support pollinators such as hummingbirds, bees and butterflies, but they also create a foundation for the entire local food chain. Many insects eat only native plants as larvae and most birds rely on insects for part of their life. Even backyard seed-eating birds like chickadees and finches raise their young almost exclusively on caterpillars.

While bees and butterflies feed on the nectar of native flowers, providing food for them is only the first step. Caterpillars and larvae feed on leaves and many rely on a narrow range of plants that they’re uniquely adapted to feeding on called “host plants.” Sometimes the host plant of common milkweed has taken a strong command of the area, but with that there is a thriving community of monarch butterfly caterpillars. The two young Macke children love to pluck the monarch caterpillars from the milkweed and put them in their butterfly boxes and observe the amazing Monarch life cycle.

North Webster Community Public Library – 110 E. North St., North Webster,  IN 46555

A partnership of the North Webster Library, Kosciusko Water and Woodland Invasive Partnership, and Clean Waters Partnership established a native pollinator area on the library grounds just for the “Native Flowers and Fields” garden tour. A grant from State of Indiana Cooperative Invasives Management (SICIM) provided the funding for this project. After a design was established, volunteers began prepping the area by removal of all sod, tilling of the soil, and adding organic compost on top of the existing soil. Then native plantings were chosen for their adaptability to our local climate and soil and a variety of bloom time throughout the season.  The creation of “massings” of four or five plants was established to make it easier for pollinators to forage.

Pollinators are essential because they allow plants to reproduce. Fortunately, even this smallest native garden at our library can help struggling native pollinators. It may take a little bit of time, but we will eventually see butterflies and other pollinators plus children and adults enjoying this garden.

Bioswale at Bell Rohr – T32a Lane, Leesburg, IN 46538

The bioswales at Bell Rohr Park were a partnership with the neighborhood lake association and The Watershed Foundation. The bioswales resolved flooding issues and also improved water quality. The bioswales infiltrate sediment and pollution runoff with native plants. The project was accomplished with the efforts of more than 20 volunteers planting well over 3,000 native plants.

Bioswales, such as the one at Bell Rohr Park, can be used in a lot of places instead of catch basins or manholes. The bioswales clean the water as it flows through the plants and enters the lake through culverts. Bioswales are typically vegetated, mulched or xeriscaped. Bioswale design is intended to safely maximize the time water spends in the swale, which aids the collection and removal of pollutants, silt and debris.

Armstrong Pollinator Prairie – 2277 E. 8 SQ Road, Warsaw, IN 46582

In 2015, the Armstrong Family made the decision to partner with the Northeast Indiana Restoration Office to transfer approximately 6 acres of our private land to a project being completed through the Northeast Indiana Wetland and Grassland Restoration Project.  The project consisted of planting a diverse seed mix of native prairie habitat to benefit migratory grassland birds to improve nesting and brood rearing cover. As a result, Dickcissels, Bobolinks and the Eastern Meadowlarks benefit from the improved habitat. This project also benefits migratory waterfowl and provides excellent nesting habitat.  Additionally, it provides habitat for the Monarch butterfly with the planting of butterfly weed, common milkweed, ironweed, wild bergamot and Ohio spiderwort.

The Armstrong Family says the partnership with the Northeast Indiana Restoration Office has been one of the best decisions that have ever made during the 34 years they’ve owned this property.  What was once a hay field with weeds has now become a beautiful field with an abundance of wild flowers, grasses, birds and butterflies that is a pure delight to behold during summer months. The sight of it all truly renews the spirit.

Baier EQIP Prairie – 120 EMS T26 Lane, Leesburg, IN 46538 

The Baier’s Pollinator Prairie started as a vague idea several years ago while they were attending an Indiana Master Naturalist session on native plants and pollinators. They toured a space similar to some of the gardens on this tour and were inspired to do “something” with two acres of pastureland.

They decided to start small by reworking our front landscaping and small side yard first. They replaced all of the plants with native varieties that are great for pollinators. After that project, they got excited about going further!

The reclamation project of the prairie took place over about 12-15 months. They followed the EQIP guidelines which is a program through NRCS that helps with funding for projects like this. They terminated the existing plant growth the first spring and then cold seeded with the NRCS recommended mixture of native flowers and grasses late that fall. To promote wildlife habitat, they planted 400 trees around the perimeter the following spring. This is the prairie’s fourth season and is even more beautiful than they expected!

Bart’s Watersports Grassland Prairie – 7581 800 N, North Webster, IN 46555

Over 20 acres of Prairie at Bart’s Watersport was established as a grassland ecosystem.  This grassland area incorporates the prairie aesthetic on a smaller scale. A prairie refers to the land in its original or natural state. Native prairie also refers to the grass species that have existed in the area for thousands of years. These grasses are the heart and soul of a prairie ecosystem.  They provide a home, food, nesting material and protection for wildlife. In the spring, wildflowers dot the landscape with beautiful colors. Native prairie is also home to common wildlife, as well as rare and endangered species. These areas attract and home hundreds of bird species, from birds of prey to songbirds. Left un-mowed and spot planted, the area has become a pollinator pasture.

Fire is an important factor to maintaining natural prairies by helping keep trees out. Prescribed fires, managed by trained professionals in the DNR, tend to stimulate the growth of prairie plants which quickly re-sprout. Prairies have always been a symbol of the Midwest and a part of Indiana’s natural history.

Tippy Creek Winery – 5920 N 200 E, Leesburg, IN 46538 

Join up after your tour of the fantastic flowers & field tour to talk with other like minded individuals. Learn more about the Clean Waters Partnership and the work affiliated groups do that makes events like this possible!

 

 

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