Category Archives: Conservation

Help Us Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of World Wetlands Day!

February 2nd marks 50 years since the signing of the Ramsar Convention, and the Environmental Resources Center will partner with local organizations and the Allen County community to celebrate wise-use and protection of wetlands. The theme for this year is wetlands as a source of freshwater and encouraging actions we can take to restore them and stop their loss.


9 to 10 am. Hike at ACRES Mengerson Urban Preserve. 5895 Stellhorn Road, Fort Wayne. Celebrate World Wetlands Day on the trails! Join us on a casual hike to learn about how this urban preserve absorbs stormwater runoff and provides a sanctuary for plants and animals. The trails at this forested wetland are often muddy, please dress appropriately.  Space is limited. RSVP to or 260-637-2273 by February 1.

11:30 am. Hike at Camp Scott. Fort Wayne City Utilities has created a wetland area on the City’s southeast side to store and treat stormwater runoff. Stormwater from several neighborhoods around McMillen Park goes to a massive storage tank at the park and is then pumped to the wetlands. The wetlands also provide a natural habitat for songbirds, water birds, and other animals. Camp Scott is located at 3615 Oxford Street, Fort Wayne. Get Map. Download a brochure about the Camp Scott Wetlands. RSVPs are not required for this hike!

1:00 pm to 2:30 pm. Hike and Seed Scatter at Eagle Marsh. Join us at the Eagle Marsh barn, 6801 Engle Road, Fort Wayne, for a celebration hike and seed scatter. On this hike we will explore our incredible, local wetland and learn all about why wetlands are important for wildlife and the community. This year’s theme shines a spotlight on wetlands as a source of freshwater and encourages actions to restore them and stop their loss. Please dress for the weather, rubber boots are recommended. Face coverings are required. Attendance is limited. Please click here to RSVP at least 24 hours in advance.

4:00 pm. Macroinvertebrates: Big Players in a Little Wet World, a virtual presentation with Deanne Zepp from the Environmental Resources Center at Purdue University Fort Wayne. Aquatic macroinvertebrates may be small, but they play a huge role in maintaining a healthy wetland, from cycling nutrients to acting as a food source. Their presence (or absence) gives us clues to the ecological state of aquatic systems. Learn about a dragonfly nymph’s lightning-fast hunting style, how midge larvae survive in low oxygen water, and other facts about the fascinating lives of these wee creatures. Please RSVP at to receive updates about this and other events of the day.

7:00 pm. Wetlands: Nature’s Kidneys, a virtual presentation. Listen to and chat with Bruce Kingsbury and Robert Gillespie from the Environmental Resources Center at Purdue University Fort Wayne. Wetlands are not only wildlife wonderlands, they are also important filters of nutrients and pollutants. We will celebrate wetlands in general and then focus on how they help to keep the surrounding landscape, headwaters, and streams clean. After the presentation, there will be time for Q and A and general discussion. Please RSVP at to receive updates about this and other events of the day.

Click here for access to the Nature’s Kidneys presentation:

Purdue Fort Wayne’s Annual Day of Giving

The ERC depends upon the generosity of donors to help support its mission. And so, we hope that you will donate a monetary gift of any size to the ERC, especially over the next 24 hours, during Purdue Fort Wayne’s Annual Day of Giving on September 9th. This campaign is our biggest fundraising event and provides money that supports our operations, research, student opportunities, community outreach and education.

September 9th is PFW’s second annual Day of Giving. The ERC is one of several Centers of Excellence that depend on the generosity of the community for support. This is our largest fundraising event so please “Make Your Mark” by contributing a gift to help fund our operations, internships, and special projects. 

There are three areas of particular importance for ERC fundraising in the near term:

  • We want to improve the landscaping around the ERC, promoting a display of approaches beautifully promoting sustainability and ecological function
  • Enhance access to and utilization of the St. Joseph River right around the building
  • Expand student internship opportunities

Although there are some big-ticket items on our wish list (such as a pontoon boat and motor and floating dock to help us improve student and community access onto the river) to help us achieve these goals, gifts of any size are most welcome. $50-100 would offset the cost of delivering an engagement event out in the community, or provide needed supplies for maintaining our display animals. Cobbled together, they add up to give us the ability to go after bigger things like internships. Thank you so much for considering us!

**The CARES Act, which was signed into law March 2020, makes donating to Purdue Fort Wayne even easier. Through this provision, taxpayers who don’t itemize may deduct donations to charity up to $300 on their 2020 federal tax return, even though they take the standard deduction. Married-filing-jointly taxpayers will get an above-the-line deduction of up to $600. This will reduce your taxable income for 2020. That’s right, this is money you won’t have to pay taxes on, without itemizing. And the exciting part, this benefit doesn’t end in 2020, but applies to all years moving forward!

Also included in the CARES Act, individuals and corporations that do itemize can deduct greater amounts of their contributions. Individuals may deduct donations up to 100% of their 2020 adjusted gross income, which is up from the 60% cap. In addition, corporations may deduct up to 25% of taxable income, an increase on the previous limit of 10%. The new deduction is for gifts made to a public charity, such as PFW.**

If you have questions about this campaign or anything else, please email us directly at The bottom line: thank you all for your continued support!

We’re Hiring!

Our team is excited to announce that we have several open positions to hire student interns this fall and into coming semesters. These positions are open to any currently enrolled Purdue University Fort Wayne students independent of area of study – we are less concerned about major but more so your interest in sustainability and desire to contribute. If you know any currently enrolled PFW students who might be interested in joining our team please encourage them to apply!

The opportunities include: 

  • The prestigious project-based Waterfield Sustainability Internship
  • Various ERC internships

As we switch to more of a virtual format we have a strong desire for students with website development, social media experience, and video editing skills. However, other areas for development are event planning, education/outreach, graphic design, and general support for the center.

For more detailed information on our available positions visit the Internships Tab and note that all applications must be submitted through Handshake.