Field Notes

May 14, 2020

Four Lilly Center series to help you explore & learn

By Caitlin Yoder, education coordinator

If you have known the Lilly Center for any length of time, then you know that we are total geeks for freshwater science, or limnology. We love data, charts, frogs, fish, waders, and so on… but did you know that when it comes to the actual impact that we can make on our lakes and streams, we can only ever do a fraction of the work? Not only that, but the health of our local water bodies has a direct impact on every person in the county, and all the people in the county have a direct impact on the health of the lake, not just those with lake properties (that is what it means to live in a watershed!)

This summer, we are launching a new community education program that will provide a variety of ways to get involved. Utilizing four series of events dispersed throughout the year, we hope to reach you (and your friends and neighbors) with tools and experiences that will connect you with our lakes and streams.

Expedition Series

Family-friendly and hands-on, expeditions get you out into nature. At an expedition, you could take a hike through a local wetland, explore the wonderful world of macro-invertebrates, or see wildlife up close! 

Workshop Series

Workshops are designed for people who want to take the next step to build skills and learn what actions to take to protect water quality. Topics include native plants, green cleaning, thinking through land/water ethic, and more.

Webinar Series

Join these webinar training sessions to learn how to identify and deal with threats to our water bodies. This will amplify the “boots on the ground” effort and allow you to voluntarily monitor for invasive aquatic plants, blue-green algae, spills and pollution, as well as provide tools to conduct your own clean-up efforts.

Lunch & Learn Series

Geared toward professionals, lunch & learns provide information on integrating business and conservation practices, as well as assistance to get certifications for businesses and citizens who are taking steps toward sustainable processes.

Not everyone is going to be a science geek, a plant-lover, or a lake property owner; however, all of us can appreciate the benefits that natural areas provide. Join us as we build a community that is equipped with the experience, knowledge and tools to make a difference to keep our county and its lakes clean, healthy, safe and beautiful.

More information and RSVP links to the following events (up-to-date as of May 14, 2020) will be available soon. In the meantime, please contact Caitlin Yoder, education coordinator, with questions or comments: or 574-372-5100 ext 6453.

June 23, 10-11am at the Lilly Center | RSVP required
This webinar is for individuals or groups that are interested in learning about starry stonewort, as well as other invasive species, and potentially doing simple surveys and reporting on local starry stonewort populations.

July 16, 9am-2pm at the Winona Lake Senior Center | RSVP required
The Lilly Center is partnering with the Leopold Education Project to showcase lessons on Land Ethic. This workshop will highlight a variety of hands-on and engaging activities that can be used with students and community groups alike.

July 20, 1-2pm at the Lilly Center | RSVP required
Learn about blue-green algae and its relevance in our Kosciusko County lakes, including how to recognize a bloom and how to join in on our research efforts by reporting them.

July 11, 9-10am | RSVP required
Dr. Nate Bosch will lead a boat tour of Lake Wawasee! Attendees will learn about the diversity of Wawsee’s aquatic habitats.

August 17, 1-2pm | RSVP required
Participants will be trained to identify the differences between point and nonpoint source pollution in a lake, and what steps to take to report these issues.

August 8, 10-11am| RSVP required
Get ready to get your hands dirty! Learn about wetlands and how important they are for clean water. We will be talking about the city’s water quality efforts and sampling for macroinvertebrates.

August 16, 2-3pm| RSVP required
Native plants are extremely important for local wildlife and for water quality. This workshop will discuss when and how to utilize native plants on shorelines to reduce erosion, provide habitat for fish and wildlife, and create a beautiful backdrop to your lake view.