LaPorte, IN

LaPorte Soil and Water Conservation District

WATERSHED: Trail Creek Watershed

Partnerships, Education, and Action in Northwest Indiana

The LaPorte Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) – established in 1937 by the Indiana Soil Conservation Act – helps residents of Indiana to conserve land, water, forests, wildlife and natural resources within the state of Indiana. Initiatives of the LaPorte SWCD pertaining to urban waters include watershed management and educational resources.

The LaPorte SWCD is a part of the Northwest Indiana Area EPA Urban Waters Federal Partnership; and Nicole Messacar, the Education Coordinator, won the Urban Waters Learning Network 2018 award for connecting the public to their waterways and contributing significantly to the partnership. Major projects and accomplishments include continued coordination with the long-standing Trail Creek Watershed Partnership to:

  • host the annual Trail Creek Week, at which students learn about their local waterways,
  • incorporate Canoemobile into Trail Creek Week, enabling students to learn while experiencing paddling on the river, and
  • install the first ADA compliant boat launch in the state.

Messacar and local educators also formed the Michigan City Wolves Environmental Restoration Team; the team includes high school students who work to restore Michigan City Parks along Trail Creek with native plants that benefit wildlife as well as water quality. They also remove invasive plants, clean up trash and promote the parks and the restoration projects taking place there.