Grace College’s Center for Lakes and Streams led the way recently in helping improve access to the Tippecanoe River in Kosciusko County, Ind., as a project addressing areas of excess fallen trees in the Tippecanoe River was completed, reducing flooding and increasing recreation opportunities.
More than 280 logjams were removed from the 30-mile stretch of river from Oswego Lake, east of Leesburg, to Indiana 19, south of Etna Green. This will allow for water to flow more freely and provide easier canoe and kayak paddling access on the Tippecanoe River.
The project is a collaboration led by the Center for Lakes and 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 has 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 City-County Athletic Complex west of Warsaw is estimated to take approximately six hours, and the stretch from Chinworth Bridge to the DNR public access parking area at Ind. 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. — from Grace College