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CROMWELL — Rather than put the land up for sale, Marylou Hipskind donated a green stretch of open ground on the Lake Wawasee shoreline in the Enchanted Hills development earlier this spring to the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams. Eventually, the land was sold by Lilly Center and the funds will be used for research and educational efforts, said Dr. Nathan Bosch, director of the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams.
Bosch added the funds will also be used for ongoing educational efforts toward K-12 students, as well as community education for all age groups.
Lilly Center does extensive research and sampling of local lakes each summer, he noted. Different depths are sampled and Bosch noted, for example, Lake Wawasee is 80 feet deep. “We check top to bottom and look for nutrients, the oxygen levels, which is important for fish to live in and the algae and algae toxins. Blue-green algae produces toxins that can be harmful to people and pets.”
Research is conducted on the impacts of boating on the lakes and invasive species such as starry stonewort are monitored.
Lilly Center also researches the major streams flowing into Lake Wawasee such as Turkey Creek, Dillon Creek and Launer Creek and also the outflow of Lake Papakeechie and Turkey Creek by the dam. Research is done on weeds, algae and zebra mussels. Sensors collect data by the hour and the data is uploaded online. And the streams are sampled every two weeks year round.
For more information on the Lilly Center for Lakes & Streams, visit lakes.grace.edu.