The Porter County
Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America has purchased a 40-acre farm
in Porter County, near Michigan City, for inclusion in its Frame Little
Calumet Conservation Area.
The purchase was
made possible with a grant from the Enbridge 68 Mitigation Fund.
Located at the
confluence of the East Branch Little Calumet River and Reynolds Creek, the
now expanded Frame Little Calumet Conservation Area is managed by the Izaak
Walton League’s Porter County Chapter as an urban green space, nature
preserve, and outdoor educational area.
The mix of habitats
found on the property--woodland and forested wetland, as well as hay fields
and crop land which will be restored to native forests-- attract a variety
of migratory birds, including nesting Red-headed and Pileated woodpeckers,
Eastern Bluebirds, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Red-tailed Hawks. Meanwhile,
the conversion of farm land will help reduce flood risks and improve water
quality within the East Branch Little River Watershed, a tributary of the
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and Lake Michigan.
“This is turning
into a great project that should provide multiple benefits for us and the
public,” said Chapter President Jim Sweeney said. “Our thanks go to Enbridge,
the Indiana Bicentennial Nature Trust, and The Conservation Fund for helping
us make this happen.”
The 6B Mitigation
Fund was voluntarily established by Enbridge to mitigate for habitat loss or
forest fragmentation caused by the construction and rehabilitation last year
of the 6B pipeline which temporarily or permanently impacted migratory birds
and the habitats upon which they depend.
collaboratively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Enbridge is
providing grants to fund implement local conservation measures in Indiana
and Michigan and to protect and restore critical habitat for migratory birds
under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
Fund, a national organization dedicated to creating land and water
protection strategies which balance environmental stewardship with economic
vitality, serves as the administrator of the Enbridge 6B Mitigation Fund.
The Fund works collectively with Enbridge and the USFWS to achieve
mitigation solutions with the highest conservation value.
“Our goal is to
preserve lands and waters that regulatory agencies, nonprofits and local
partners have identified as conservation priorities valued for their
wildlife habitat, recreation, clean water, and other natural resources,”
said Kris Hoellen, vice-president of sustainable programs for the
Conservation Fund. “Because we cannot choose between our environment and our
economy, we need to strike a balance by working in a collaborative way to
ensure that mitigation for unavoidable impacts is meaningful and achieves
the highest quality conservation of significant natural lands, like these in
and green spaces are dear to every community and we recognize the impacts
our construction projects can have,” said Jennifer Smith, community
relations manager for Enbridge. “At Enbridge we take our responsibility to
the environment seriously, and this partnership with the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service, the Conservation Fund, and our local conservation
organizations is a great opportunity to demonstrate our ongoing commitment
to environmental stewardship.”
The Enbridge 68
Mitigation Fund also made possible another purchase of land in Northwest
Indiana, this one of 96 acres by the Lake County Parks and Recreation
Department. That acreage will become part of Deep River County Park, off
U.S. Highway 30 near the Porter County line.
The property is
known as Thomas Farm and features upland and floodplain forests providing
ideal breeding habitat for a variety of resident and neotropical migrating
birds, including the Hooded Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, and Cerulean Warbler.