When the Coffee Creek Watershed Conservancy (CCWC) was looking to install a 35-food Osprey nesting platform they turned to Kankakee Valley REMC, a rural electric membership cooperative, for assistance. Installed within the Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve (The Preserve), this structure is part of a greater national effort to promote the conservation of Osprey through providing safe nesting structures located near sources (creeks, rivers, lakes, etc.).
“Ospreys are a predatory bird in the Hawk family and are the only Hawk that feed almost exclusively on fish,” says CCWC Stewardship Manager, Matt Harmon. He adds, “Much like the American Bald Eagle, Osprey populations were once declining from the 1950’s to the 1970’s due to the impact of the pesticide DDT, which was ultimately banned in 1972. But also like the Bald Eagle, due to conservation efforts, stable populations of this bird have now been documented across North America.”
The Osprey pole was erected in partnership with Kankakee Valley REMC, who donated a 40-foot pole and the labor of four cooperative employees. The nesting platform, the flat structure at the top of the pole used by the birds as a nesting base, was donated by lifelong Chesterton resident and carpenter, Andy Katzmarek.
“An important aspect of Kankakee Valley REMC’s commitment to the community is our dedication to projects that are impacting the environment. As an organization we not only had access to equipment but also a dedicated team of employees to drive the project to completion. We are pleased to partner with CCWC and create an educational opportunity for the community to learn more about the Osprey bird, ” stated Amanda Steeb, director of marketing and communications for Kankakee Valley REMC.
The Coffee Creek Watershed Conservancy, the 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization that owns and operates the 157-acre Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve, hopes to bring to visitors a potential active Osprey nest in the spring.
“Coffee Creek Watershed Conservancy always aims to educate visitors about our natural world through touch, observation, and connectivity to native flora and fauna,” states CCWC Board Member, Ed Spanopoulos. He adds, “Osprey migrate out of the area in the fall and return in the spring. We hope to see some nesting activity as early as next year.” The new Osprey Nesting Platform, located just Southwest of Phillip’s Pond, can be viewed at The Preserve from dawn to dusk.
Kankakee Valley REMC, located in Wanatah, IN, is a member-owned rural electric cooperative serving approximately 18,000 members throughout Starke, Pulaski, Porter, Lake, Marshall, St. Joseph and LaPorte Counties. For more information, visitwww.kvremc.com.
Photo Caption: Kankakee Valley REMC crews assisted the Coffee Creek Watershed Conservancy with the installation of an Osprey nesting platform in the Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve.