Category Archives: Urban ecology

Riverfront Fort Wayne’s Early Bird Nature Walk & Bike Ride

Join Riverfront Fort Wayne this Sunday, April 17 on the historic Wells Street Bridge for the start of the Sunday Nature tours. The event is free and open to the public and suitable for all ages. The event will allow residents to learn about the birds and plants along Fort Wayne’s downtown rivers, with an emphasis on migratory birds, waterfowl, resident birds, riverine flora and invasive species.

The naturalist-led walk will be held from 8 to 9 a.m., followed by a 90-minute leisurely paced bicycle ride led by Fort Wayne Trails. Future nature walks will take place on the first Sunday of the month, May through October. For more information, visitwww.riverfrontfw.org.

Fort Wayne Using more Native Plants in Parks and on the Streets

City landscapers and park departments have been working hard on incorporating native plants into suburban development and parks.

Using native plants highlights the local ecology of Fort Wayne, providing common sources of food for native fauna- pollen, seeds, and nectar for the birds and insects  of the city. These plants also function well within rain gardens: many have the capability to trap pollutants from rainwater and keep them from joining local streams.

While they do require a little more cost and care in the beginning, native plants actually require less maintenance than annual flowers due to their hardiness in the local weather.

This makes them a perfect candidate for use along streets and public work projects as well. They are perfectly suited to both the climate and the soils, and adding native trees to the typical honey locust trees allows for a diversity that could stand against massive die-offs.

The city offers workshops on planting rain gardens , and also offers incentive programs to help people pay for native plants to use in their rain gardens.

The full story can be found at this link: News-Sentinel.

Nature Discovery Zone to be built near Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo

As part of the new Families4Nature initiative, the zoo will be installing a  discovery zone by the Zoo Discovery Center next spring. This nature play area will make use of the small wetland already existing on-site, and will allow children to get hands-on exploration and experience with nature year-round, which represents a new opportunity for many urban children.

Even before the completion of the Nature Discovery Zone, the zoo has announced Families4Nature initiative in collaboration with Little River Wetlands Project and the ERC with a year-long schedule of events and activities hosted by all three organizations. Families can use a Nature Passport which will keep track of points earned by completing outdoor activities or attending these events, which can be used to earn free children’s admission at the zoo and other incentives.

For more information on the new nature play area, visit the News-Sentinel link here.

For more information on Families4Nature, and to download and print a Nature Passport, please visit our Families4Nature tab under our Education section.