A Walk in the Woods
March 20, 2021
The Clear Lake Land Conservancy made great progress in 2020 improving the trails in Brennan Woods, a part of Clear Lake Nature Preserve (CLNP). Over the summer, Bob Martin, George Schenkel, Terry Newcomb, Mary Ann Walter, John Wilhelm, and Dave Drogos designed, constructed, and installed our trailhead information kiosk. The roofed double-sided structure, near the preserve parking area, will house our trail map, announcements, and educational posts. The kiosk was installed in memory of Nancy Wilhelm, as our “doorway to the preserve.” Once the signage is complete, our kiosk will welcome visitors to the preserve, offer helpful information and connect visitors to the Conservancy website through a QR code accessible with a smartphone.
Bob Webster, Bob Martin, Bruce Matasick, and Tim Miller supported the design and installation of a floating boardwalk across a wetland area of Brennan Woods, bringing us one step closer to a completed loop trail in CLNP. Late last summer, the team took a field trip to explore some boardwalk options. The E-Z dock available locally from the Pier Place in Angola seemed to best fit our needs to take our hiking trail across the wetland located at the south end of Brennan Woods. Volunteers Dave Drogos, Matt Hilliard, Ryan Johnson, Guy Rodgers, and Chris Hughes spent an afternoon prepping the site. The Pier Place helped us complete the installation this January. We had support for this project from Jim and Karen Bushey, Nancy Andrews and an anonymous donor. Huge thanks as well to Gerald Dirig for access through his property for the installation.
As we welcome Spring, we hope to organize volunteer workdays to complete the trail on each end of the boardwalk. We also plan to line and mulch the trail with woodchips on the west end and install steps along the steep slope to the east. Workdays will be announced on our website and social media.
We are also working with our partners at Indiana Fish & Wildlife Service and Blue Heron Ministries to improve the wetland on the west end of Clear Lake Nature Preserve. We will replace a failing drainage tile and install a water control feature to help us store stormwater and prevent flooding on CR 675. Once these steps are complete, we can extend our hiking trail through the restored prairie, bringing us to just under 2 miles of trail on this 46-acre preserve. The figureeight configuration will cover five different ecosystems and allow hikers to trek through the woods, through the prairie or both.
Check our website for upcoming volunteer events. We hope to see you on the trail!