David Bradway - Conservation Administrator
State and local environmental agencies will sometimes undertake large projects that show results regionally rather than by city or county divisions. One such project was conducted in 2020 wherein a multi-agency crew surveyed the West Fork White River and White River from its headwaters in Randolph County to the confluence with the Wabash River. I was able to ask some questions of the group. Drew Holloway with the Muncie Sanitary District Bureau of Water Quality, Kevin Gaston with Indiana Department of Environmental Management, and Sandy Clark with Indiana Department of Natural Resources shared their insight from the work they completed. Links to the data and referenced websites can be found in the interview below.
Can you summarize the project?
What was the initial goal of the project?
Were any outcomes gleaned through collected data for White River? Hamilton County?
How do sections of White River through Hamilton County look chemically, biologically, habitat?
Describe your thoughts on sport fishing in White River through Hamilton County.
Do your findings show anything about the level of conservation work done in Hamilton County?
Any plans for similar projects on other streams?
How can I get one started? A Garden Tower is very similar to your average garden bed, but with a larger price tag so it is not a necessary purchase. There are many less expensive alternatives that you can succeed with. These steps can be applied to any planting medium as well as plant or seed type. Depending on how your green your thumb is, one route is to start the seeds indoors, which is what I did in the spring. In years past, we’ve also purchased seedlings and transplanted them into the tower. If you’re an intrigued beginner such as myself, I’ll let you in on the guidelines I followed:
What now? Whether you decide to utilize the garden tower, a garden bed, or even start just one potted plant to try it out, anyone can do it! Gardening is a fun way to challenge and improve your skills, and you can watch yourself grow as a gardener as your plants grow too. It may seem overwhelming, so please stop by for more details, questions, and to check out our garden!
For more information, see this website: https://www.gardentowerproject.com/pages/how-it-works
Makayla Reel, Office Coordinator
Be cautious of water quality. It is possible to contract illnesses from dirty water. Giardia is a common illness to contract from dirty pond/lake water. The symptoms are unpleasant to cope with and it is not easily eliminated. Giardia is an intestinal infection caused by parasites. Many other parasitic infections camp out in lake and pond water. It is also worth mentioning that many diseases are zoonotic meaning it can be transferred to humans.
Leeches, ticks and turtles OH MY! Snapping turtles are the most common widespread turtle species in Indiana. From below your dogs’ paw can look like a tasty snack. Be sure to do research about the body of water you want to explore before going. You want to educate yourself on the types of species that may lay in wait.
Diane Turner - Conservation Technician and Outreach Assistant
Once users choose a particular native plant species, they may click on a plant to link to a printable species page with plant characteristics, notes, resources, and additional photos. See examples below of native species printouts.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.