Volunteers at The Southwest Conservation Club take the next big step to revitalize one acre back to its “native roots” on December 8, 2016. The large scale drill-seed planting of native Indiana flowers and prairie plants will be the last large part to the project’s previously planted native gardens through the assistance of a $1,000 grant from INPAWS, a statewide organization that promotes “the appreciation, preservation, scientific study, and use of plants native to Indiana.”
Throughout the organization’s 78 year history, the acre has formally been mowed grass, then an organic garden, but within the past five years the club has taken efforts to preserve and return this area to a more natural state. Working with local florists, botany groups and individuals, the club has had donated and purchased many of the native plants and seeds for the area. But with the granted assistance from INPAWS, the project area has been completely seeded with Indiana native plants and flowers.
The Southwest Conservation Club has taken these steps to revitalize and return the prairie to its native ‘roots’ to assist local wildlife, insects and pollinators to find refuge and return to a native Indiana habitat and to create an educational opportunity for members and visitors to be educated about the importance of the preservation of Indiana native plants and wildflowers. This project closely aligns the club’s mission to “promote true sportsmanship and principles of broad conservation, to promote legislation designed to conserve and restore wildlife in our coverts and waters, and to promote and cooperate in the beautification and purification of our rivers.”
Nested on 37 acres within the city of Fort Wayne, Indiana, The Southwest Conservation Club property consists of four ponds, trap & skeet fields, firearms range, archery course, a campground and hiking trail. Although the property is within the urbanized area of the city, with the natural environment the property provides, many types of land and water animals, including deer and rare birds that are often seen. The club understands the importance native plants and wildflowers have in ecosystems and the vital role they play in the web of life and hopes that this project will increase the amount of native animal and insect activity on the property. This project will also serve as a showpiece to promote how beautiful native plants can be for home gardens and landscaping.
The Southwest Conservation Club is located at 5703 Bluffton Road in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The property is generally open to members only and to the public only during public events. For more information about The Conservation Club, please see www.southwestconservationclub.org for more details.