Letter from the President of TWF

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 12:42pm



As I begin my term as President of The Watershed Foundation (TWF), I would like to express my gratitude to Natalie Fierek who has been president for the past three years and is now serving as treasurer. I would also like to thank the board members for their active involvement on all of the committees. A special thanks to the TWF office staff, Lyn, Eileen and Betsy.

My wife, Sue, and I moved to this area 16 years ago. I have always been fascinated by water and waterways. It has taken me a while to understand just how a watershed works. The Tippecanoe Watershed starts at Crooked Lake in Whitley County. The water flows through 60 lakes on its way down to the Tippecanoe River and eventually flows into the Wabash, Ohio, Mississippi Rivers, and finally into the Gulf of Mexico.

 What happens at the beginning of the watershed affects the water quality as it flows south. TWF employs two men who work with the farmers in our watershed to make their farms more productive while protecting local waterways. In addition to permanent projects, the farmers are encouraged to practice no-till and cover crops on their fields to reduce run-off of top soil and nutrients into the water that goes into the ditches and waterways and through the watershed on its way to the Gulf of Mexico.

When we moved to this area, I thought it was all about the lake that you lived on and did not think about what flowed into the lake or what the water quality was going out of the lake. I have learned to appreciate the big picture, which is the total watershed.

The Watershed Foundation has been working for the past 20 years to stop pollution at its source, which encompasses the entire watershed that improves water quality, decreases algae, invasive weeds, and sediment flowing into the lakes

There are 16 sites along the watershed that TWF monitors diligently to make sure that what is being done for clean water is working.  If there is a negative change, TWF goes out and finds out why so that it can be corrected. Over the past 20 years there has been a gradual change for the better related to nutrients, e-coli and run-off into our lakes and streams.

It is only through your generous donations that all this is possible.  The Watershed Foundation must continue to monitor the water quality of our lakes so that it may continue to insure safe, clean water to enhance our property values, and our enjoyment of our lakes.