WALKERTON, Ind. – JFNew was recognized at the 2009 U.S. EPA Conservation and Native Landscaping Awards ceremony in December for its work helping to restore Wolf Lake, a 500-acre water body located on the Indiana/Illinois border. The award was presented to the city of Hammond, Ind., the local sponsor that provided matching funds for the project.
Designed by the Chicago District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the restoration project involved creating wetland and upland habitat in shallow open water areas. More than 30 islands were constructed from uncontaminated sand and silt hydraulically dredged from the lake bottom. JFNew provided planting services to the dredging contractor, Luedtke Engineering of Frankfort, Mich.
"Despite significant impacts from urbanization, the lake is still an attraction for fishing, recreation, and enjoying nature," says Jon Dittmar, JFNew project manager. "It also offers habitat for a wide variety of wildlife and plants, including several species listed as threatened or endangered. Our goal was to recreate conditions similar to those at time of settlement, when much of the area was marsh."
To help re-establish the vegetation, JFNew seeded more than 14 acres of these newly created islands and installed more than 125,000 native plants and shrubs. The majority of the seed and plants were provided by JFNew's Native Plant Nursery.
JFNew continues to be involved with Wolf Lake by providing maintenance and monitoring services.