Introduction & Background
V3 Companies, Ltd. (V3) was contracted by the Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation (WACF) to conduct an assessment of the exotic, invasive wetland species present in the properties owned by the WACF. In addition to the assessment, this management plan is intended to provide options for treating and controlling these exotic invasive species and replacing them with viable native wetland communities. Specifically, the investigated invasive species include, but are not limited to: reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), common reed (Phragmites australis), and purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria).
WACF is a local public foundation dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of the Wawasee area watershed for present and future generations. WACF’s mission is composed of four elements: 1) wetlands conservation, 2) wise management of agriculture, 3) community commitment to controlled development and water use, and 4) preservation of water quality within the lakes. Wetlands conservation is important since wetlands reduce water velocity and absorb polluting nutrients, thereby contribute significantly to WACF’s clean water mission. To attain their wetlands conservation goal, WACF has acquired 28 properties totaling approximately 460 acres, which encompasses 27,733 linear feet (5.25 miles) of protected shoreline.
The Wawasee area watershed is composed of 23,618 acres and spans across the eastern Kosciusko and western Noble County borders, as shown in Exhibit I, the site vicinity map. The watershed starts at the headwaters of Little Knapp and Harper Lakes in Noble County, and flows through ten lakes in the Knapp Lake Chain into Lake Wawasee, and then through the wetlands along the Main Channel and Mudd Lake into Syracuse Lake. Exhibit II illustrates the extent of the Wawasee Area watershed.