*If you’re looking for information regarding our World Wetlands Day celebration keep scrolling down on this page!*

Join the Rain Gardens and Native Plants Workshop

The public is invited to attend a virtual Rain Gardens and Native Plants Workshop on January 30, 2021, 10:00 – 11:30 am. Presenters will broadcast live from the Purdue University’s Environmental Resources Center. This workshop is designed for the beginner and will especially be of interest to people who are thinking about installing a rain garden with native plants.  Information regarding available cost-share assistance to install rain gardens will be provided.

Citizens can help reduce stormwater runoff by installing rain gardens in their yards. A rain garden is a landscaped area that holds rain water runoff for a few hours to a few days. The benefit of using native plants in a rain garden is that they are well adapted to their natural surroundings and do not require a lot of maintenance, fertilizers or pesticides. Rain gardens and native plants help the soil soak up water and improve the quality of the water that does runoff.

Click link below to access the Virtual Zoom page:


Presenters will be Stacy Haviland, Landscape Architect and Community Development Manager with the City of Fort Wayne, and Martha Ferguson, Owner of Riverview Native Nursery.

Registration is not necessary. For more information, contact Sharon Partridge, Stormwater Specialist, Maumee Watershed Alliance, ssp2655@gmail.com or 260-755-8111.

This workshop is brought to you by the St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative, the Maumee Watershed Alliance, the Northeastern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council, and Purdue University’s Environmental Resources Center. Funding to support this outreach event was provided by the US Environmental Protection Agency through an Indiana Department of Environmental Management Clean Water Act grant awarded to the St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative.

Help Us Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of World Wetlands Day! 

February 2nd marks 50 years since the signing of the Ramsar Convention, and the Environmental Resources Center will partner with local organizations and the Allen County community to celebrate wise-use and protection of wetlands. The theme for this year is wetlands as a source of freshwater and encouraging actions we can take to restore them and stop their loss.

Tuesday’s Schedule:

9 to 10 am. Hike at ACRES Mengerson Urban Preserve. 5895 Stellhorn Road, Fort Wayne. Celebrate World Wetlands Day on the trails! Join us on a casual hike to learn about how this urban preserve absorbs stormwater runoff and provides a sanctuary for plants and animals. The trails at this forested wetland are often muddy, please dress appropriately.  Space is limited. RSVP to outreach@acreslandtrust.org or 260-637-2273 by February 1.

11:30 am. Hike at Camp Scott. Fort Wayne City Utilities has created a wetland area on the City’s southeast side to store and treat stormwater runoff. Stormwater from several neighborhoods around McMillen Park goes to a massive storage tank at the park and is then pumped to the wetlands. The wetlands also provide a natural habitat for songbirds, water birds, and other animals. Camp Scott is located at 3615 Oxford Street, Fort Wayne. Get Map. Download a brochure about the Camp Scott Wetlands. RSVPs are not required for this hike!

1:00 pm to 2:30 pm. Hike and Seed Scatter at Eagle Marsh. Join us at the Eagle Marsh barn, 6801 Engle Road, Fort Wayne, for a celebration hike and seed scatter. On this hike we will explore our incredible, local wetland and learn all about why wetlands are important for wildlife and the community. This year’s theme shines a spotlight on wetlands as a source of freshwater and encourages actions to restore them and stop their loss. Please dress for the weather, rubber boots are recommended. Face coverings are required. Attendance is limited. Please click here to RSVP at least 24 hours in advance.

4:00 pm. Macroinvertebrates: Big Players in a Little Wet World, a virtual presentation with Deanne Zepp from the Environmental Resources Center at Purdue University Fort Wayne. Aquatic macroinvertebrates may be small, but they play a huge role in maintaining a healthy wetland, from cycling nutrients to acting as a food source. Their presence (or absence) gives us clues to the ecological state of aquatic systems. Learn about a dragonfly nymph’s lightning-fast hunting style, how midge larvae survive in low oxygen water, and other facts about the fascinating lives of these wee creatures. Please RSVP at erc@pfw.edu to receive updates about this and other events of the day.

7:00 pm. Wetlands: Nature’s Kidneys, a virtual presentation. Listen to and chat with Bruce Kingsbury and Robert Gillespie from the Environmental Resources Center at Purdue University Fort Wayne. Wetlands are not only wildlife wonderlands, they are also important filters of nutrients and pollutants. We will celebrate wetlands in general and then focus on how they help to keep the surrounding landscape, headwaters, and streams clean. After the presentation, there will be time for Q and A and general discussion. Please RSVP at erc@pfw.edu to receive updates about this and other events of the day.

About the ERC

The Environmental Resources Center, or ERC, is one of the Centers of Excellence at Purdue University Fort Wayne. The mission of the ERC is to promote the understanding and conservation of the natural resources of the region through scientific research, educational opportunities, and outreach.

Our research projects include work on the ecology of animals and plants, and also on land management practices. Our “staff” is largely engaged Purdue Fort Wayne faculty and their students, both undergraduate and graduate.

In addition to our research endeavors, we actively participate in education and outreach with the community, routinely serving on advisory boards and giving public presentations on a variety of topics.

We invite you to engage with us as works for you. To the right, “like” us on Facebook and sign up for our “monthlyish” newsletter. Sign up with just your name and email (also to right), or take another minute and use the “Join” link above to tell us more about your interests. Thanks!

Use the navigation menus to the left to dig a little deeper into content, or the link above to find out more about us.

Stay in touch!

Bruce Kingsbury, Director