Funds raised in 2022 will support projects into the next year for the Association for the Wolf Lake Initiative (AWLI) .
AWLI is a bi-state, not-for-profit organization seeking to protect and enhance the thousands of acres of the Wolf Lake watershed. This month it received a $1,000 grant from Walmart’s store on 5 th Avenue in Hammond, IN, to support its Save the Mudpuppy Campaign.
The project got underway months earlier when AWLI received a $3,000 grant from Fund for Wild Nature. The campaign, which continues into 2023, seeks to protect the dwindling number of this aquatic salamander in the Wolf Lake watershed and nearby waterways in Indiana and Illinois.
AWLI alerts those who fish locally to release back into the water mudpuppies they catch by mistake. To get this message out, AWLI began dispensing table-top displays to public libraries, public and private schools, and other public buildings with heavy foot traffic.
AWLI also helped three libraries make wall-sized displays, as well. The campaign followed five years of research at Wolf Lake by students from Southern Illinois University and funded by Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium.
AWLI’s second project is the initial year of a 10-year effort to test the water quality of the Wolf Lake watershed. This includes the following bodies of water:
‘ Bi-state Wolf Lake, 804 surface acres
‘ George Lake, 148 acres
‘ Powderhorn Lake, 35 acres
‘ Indian Creek, 1.25 miles in length
‘ Eggers Grove southeast pond, 40 acres
This effort involves cooperation among Purdue University Northwest, Calumet College of St. Joseph, and community volunteers to ensure the quality of these waters. Most of the water flows into Lake Michigan, which is the drinking water of Chicagoans and residents of Northwest Indiana.
The watershed serves a population base of 3.4 million in Southeast Chicago and suburbs and Northwest Indiana. Grants from Freshwater Future and Cleveland-Cliffs, $1,500 and $5,000 respectively, are funding this bi-state effort.
A $5,000 grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund in June sponsored the internship of a college graduate into 2023.
Indiana Humanities awarded a $2,200 grant to support the 2022-2023 Calumet Revisited Forum co-sponsored with Calumet College.
A $600 grant from the city of Hammond funded part of the 6th annual Wolf Lake Watershed Advisory Committee meeting in early November.
The Legacy Foundation awarded a $500 grant to support this year’s Greening of the Arts Reception and Show, also co-sponsored by Calumet College.
Another project going into its third year is the Calumet Nature Exchange, an on-line education program which offers licensed teachers in Indiana and Illinois an opportunity to earn an hour of professional development credit per meeting at no cost. In 2023, AWLI will be seeking new funding to continue these projects and seek support for other research and on-line education programs.
Those who wish to volunteer to help with these projects or plan for new ones, should contact AWLI at 219 933-7149. For further information, visit AWLI’s website at www.wolflakeinitiative.org.
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Outdoor Activities in Nwi
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Baseball – Gary
Hiking in Northwest Indiana
Hike the Moraine Nature Preserve – Valpo
Hiking At Sunset Hill County Park – Valpo
Wolf Lake Pavilion – Hammond
Hidden Lake Park – Merrillville
Portage Lakefront Riverwalk Park
Hammond Bird Sanctuary – Hammond
Gabis Arboretum – Valparaiso
Mount Baldy – Indiana Dunes
Edge Adventure Park (Zip Lines) Hobart
Whoa Zone Water Park – Whiting, Indiana
Northwest Indiana Fall Colors – LaPorte
Ice Fishing – NWIndiana
Sledding – NWIdiana
Ice Skating – NWIndiana
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