Sierran Masthead

Winding Waters Digs in on Service Projects

Winding Waters Group, centered in Columbus, has been active in the third quarter. The outings committee organized a service project at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge, which involved cutting down saplings in a meadow area. They also led hikes at Clifty Falls State Park and Jackson-Washington State Forest.

The conservation committee is currently working on monitoring a megadevelopment and getting an area to become Bartholomew County’s first designated nature preserve.

In the second quarter, Winding Waters members and friends completed two service projects in Bartholomew County.

Eight Sierrans pulled garlic mustard, giant ragweed, and plenty of other weeds out of a mixed wildflower/exotic flower bed at the town’s senior center. With an assist from a six-man work-release crew from the local jail and Nick Rush, the Parks and Recreation operations manager, a brick patio long hidden under weeds and silt was “excavated.”

The results of the work were startling and much appreciated by the Parks and Recreation Department and those at the senior center. Everyone learned a bit about native plants and exotic invasive plants.

Once the day’s work was done, participants enjoyed fresh fruit donated by Marsh Supermarkets and fresh-baked goodies donated by Shondra Zaborowski.

Also, six Sierrans plus Rick Gilbert of the Parks and Recreation Department planted over 200 plants along the river bank beside the upper stretches of the People Trail to protect the river banks against erosion.

Art Hopkins donated gray dogwood plants, a very handsome shrub from the same genus as the flowering dogwood tree. However, unlike the tree, gray dogwood thrives in wet, occasionally flooded places. It also thrives in shade, so it is a good match for the People Trail. In fall, its white berries are popular with migrating birds, because the oily berries offer more calories per ounce than sugary berries.

The remaining plants consisted of arrowwood viburnum, another handsome shrub that tolerates shade, and black willow, which once established, can live underwater for short periods. Some black willows were planted on sandbars, while others were planted pretty far inland to help “armor” more riverbank soil up and downstream.

The River Rats of Columbus generously contributed $100 toward the purchase of plants. After two hours’ work, everyone enjoyed more fruit courtesy of Marsh and muffins baked by Shondra. If you are interested in becoming involved with any activities the Winding Waters Group is working on, please contact Doug Johnson at

Copyright © 2007 Hoosier Chapter Sierra Club, all rights reserved.[7/1/02]efp

Winter 2001-2002