Early in 2016, the WACF acquired the waterfront property located east of the Wawasee-to-Syracuse Lake main channel and across the road from the Channel Marker restaurant. This beautiful location was for decades the Searfoss family homestead. The property will now be known as “WACF Between-the-Lakes Preserve.” This property has been on the WACF radar for many years and we are extremely pleased to complete this acquisition.
“WACF Between-the-Lakes Preserve” is approximately seven acres with nearly 1,600 feet of water frontage adjoining the crucial Mud Lake wetlands. WACF already owns the substantial “Buck Island” property on the north side of Mud Lake and smaller properties on the east and west sides of Mud Lake. This acquisition furthers the environmental protection afforded to this unique wetlands and habitat area.
The majority of WACF critical land acquisitions are located in remote areas that most of the Wawasee watershed community will never see. WACF Between-the-Lakes will give our lake community the unique opportunity to observe the positive changes and activities on the property which over time may include wetlands and prairie restoration, shoreline enhancement, ecological demonstrations, canoe and kayak wetlands adventures, and community access to short trails.
Work has already begun with the demolition of the older house on the property, removal of a number of dead trees, and the construction of a new split rail fence to replace the original deteriorating fence. More exciting changes will be seen in the coming months.
Dan Ernst of Earth Source, Inc. Landscape Architects is working with WACF director Sam Leman to create a master plan for the WACF Between the Lakes property (across from the Channel Marker). At the WACF annual meeting on July 29, 2017, Mr. Ernst gave a short presentation previewing the plan.
Video taken by Deb Patterson of Ink Free News.