FORT WAYNE - One of the largest restorations of urban wetland areas in the country is growing after a 40 acre tract of land was added to Eagle Marsh in southwest Fort Wayne. Nonprofit land trust, Little River Wetlands Project, co-owns the marsh and purchased the mostly undeveloped land from Republic Services. The land lies directly across from LRWP's office and adjoins another 35 acre parcel purchased last June.

“What’s unique about this new property is that portions of it have not been logged or disturbed since the first aerial photographs in 1938,” said Amy Silva, LRWP Executive Director. “The Republic Services property has a 3-acre gated parking lot that we’ll use as a trailhead to access both new preserve additions." We’re planning a loop trail that leaves from the trailhead at the parking lot, with a spur that leads to our office. As we assess the property, we’ll determine where trails could be routed and consider whether it has the potential for boardwalks.”

The land will not initially be open to the public, but the land trust hopes to build trails and infrastructure that will allow public access in a few years. Silva says clean-ups will be scheduled in the spring and work will begin on removing shrubs. 

LRWP also plans to expand research projects in urban forested wetland properties, which could include ongoing urban turtle research conducted by Purdue Fort Wayne's biology department, as well as new studies of salamanders, birds, frogs, plants and butterflies.