Construction is Complete on a New Wetland in Monroe County

Construction is now complete on a new wetland at our Fix-Stoelting Preserve in Monroe County, where we are restoring farmland to thriving wetland habitat. Wetlands are critical to support threatened and endangered wildlife and keep our water, soils, and air clean, yet more than 85% of Indiana’s wetlands have been lost.

How is a new wetland created? 

With the help of Stanger Excavating – who generously provided their services at a reduced rate – we excavated the soil at Fix-Stoelting Preserve using tractors and created a berm to hold water, which is a small dam only about a foot tall. This created shallow pond areas that will fill with flooding or rain.

Two separate wetland areas were created at the east and west end of the former farm field, separated by our new native tree planting (highlighted in this aerial view by protective white tree tubes).  Except when there is a major flood from nearby Beanblossom Creek, these shallow ponds won’t be more than 1-2 feet deep and will dry up seasonally, creating mud flats for migratory birds and good breeding ponds for amphibians.

This new wetland will be about 4-5 acres in total, depending on the time of year and the amount of water in the area. It is part of Sycamore’s largest restoration project ever untaken to create over 80 acres of wetland habitat in the area, funded by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP), who designed the wetland areas. Additional generous support was provided by Ducks Unlimited, Bulleit Whiskey, American Forests, Sassafras Audubon Society, US Perennials, Michael Day, and our Sycamore members. Together we are making great strides to restore critical wetland habitat. 

Photos: Fix-Stoelting Preserve wetland aerials by John Lawrence. Wetland construction photo by Kate Hammel.