WAWASEE AREA CONSERVANCY FOUNDATION Executive Director Heather Harwood and Tom Yoder are pictured with the Turkey Creek Inlet Preserve in the background. Submitted photo
WAWASEE AREA CONSERVANCY FOUNDATION Executive Director Heather Harwood and Tom Yoder are pictured with the Turkey Creek Inlet Preserve in the background. Submitted photo
SYRACUSE — The Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation has purchased 66 acres at the southeast end of Lake Wawasee that will help protect the lake’s watershed.

The purchased property includes 44 acres of wetland, three springs, 2,480 feet of Turkey Creek shoreline (both sides), and 1,600 feet of a branch of Turkey Creek, according to the foundation. This is the second largest property acquisition of the 58 WACF properties and the conservation group characterized the purchase as its most important to date.

The Turkey Creek Inlet Preserve centers on Turkey Creek in its last stretches to Lake Wawasee. The creek runs through a large wetland area, upstream from Runaway Bay, in a big wetland bowl that runs East toward County Line Road at the Jehovah Witness church, and North of C.R. 1000 North in Kosciusko County. 

Approximately 43 percent of the water flowing into Lake Wawasee, the state’s largest natural lake, comes from Turkey Creek, according to information from the foundation. In the mid-1990s, the property was identified as a must-have acquisition for WACF because it serves as the “final filter” before the water flows into the lake. Tom Yoder, board of directors member and land acquisition committee chairman, began talking with the property owner in 1998. The two parties remained in touch over the years and the purchase was completed in late 2018.

“We are thrilled to secure this all-important property as part of our overall strategy to protect, preserve and enhance the Wawasee Area Watershed for generations to come,” said Doug Yoder, board chairman. “And thank you to our donors and community volunteers who have worked alongside us to raise the funds needed to purchase key properties such as this. Thanks to their generosity, we were ready when it mattered most.”

The Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation is a non-profit organization that was created in 1991 to protect, preserve and enhance the Wawasee Area Watershed in Kosciusko and Noble counties for present and future generations.

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