News release from the Indiana State Museum:
Community Rallies to Help Endangered Species
Individual donor, local utility, business and historic site partner on bird nesting project
ROME CITY, Ind. (March 22, 2016) – Sylvan Lake in Noble County may soon have a new resident – ospreys. This beautiful raptor species is making a comeback in the state but remains on the state endangered species list. To encourage these birds, a nesting platform was recently installed near Boy Scout Island on Sylvan Lake.
As a fundraising program by Advance Rome City, nesting boxes could be purchased by residents to create additional habitat for birds. Diane and Carl Grove sponsored the osprey platform because the live on Sylvan Lake and were anxious to encourage the return of osprey to their hometown.
NIPSCO, Bauermeister Tree Service and the Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site also contributed to the installation of the platform donating funds, materials and expertise. “The osprey prefer to nest 20-30 feet above the water,” explained Dave Fox, Site Manager of the Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site. “We had to find the right location and needed the help of several partners to make this nesting platform a reality.”
Once the Sylvan Lake Improvement Association approved the location, Fox coordinated the project including construction so the crew from Bauermeister Tree Service could install the 4′ square platform in a suitable tree. GSP Memorial Society Board Member John Lipasek also assisted, ferrying materials and crew to the island.
Thanks to nesting platforms such as this one, Indiana’s osprey population has shown steady growth. In 2014, 68 sites had osprey or osprey nests present. Osprey have been sighted and even nested in Northeast Indiana for several years now.
Fox will keep an eye on the osprey nest to share sightings and hopefully report an osprey nest this season. To learn more about osprey or other native Indiana birds, you can visit the Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site’s Environmental Resource Center beginning April 1. The GSP dock also provides a great view of the newly installed osprey platform.
Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site is located five minutes east of Rome City at 1205 Pleasant Point on the shore of beautiful Sylvan Lake. Cabin tours will resume on April 1 as well as regular hours for the Carriage House Visitors Center including the GSP Gift Shop and Environmental Resource Center. The grounds are open from dawn until dusk daily year round. For more information on this project or 2016 events, please call the GSP Visitors Center at 260.854.3790 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.