Michiana Watershed, Inc. was established during the 1950’s by a group of concerned citizens seeking to create awareness in the local community for the need to improve, conserve and appropriately use our natural resources.
A special concern of the group was, and still is, the condition of the St. Joseph River, and one of the first projects of the group was a major clean-up of the river conducted in 1957.
Organized the first major cleanup of the St. Joseph River. Conducted periodic cleanups since then. Currently we participate in an annual cleanup jointly with The Friends of the St. Joe River.
Fostered establishment of a Soil and Water Conservation District and a study of the St. Joseph River Basin by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Launched a campaign aimed at obtaining more recreational areas for Northern Indiana. One of the results was the “Potato Creek Project” which produced the Potato Creek State Park near North Liberty which opened in 1978.
Second major cleanup of the St. Joseph River under the supervision of member George Scheuer with the help of CETA personnel and the local Marine Corps units. Watershed also participated in a cleanup of Baugo Creek in Osceola.
Supported the development of Bendix Woods, Baugo Creek, and St. Patrick’s County Parks
Organized and conducted the first St. Joseph River Run, a canoe, kayak, and raft race from South Bend to Niles, Michigan. This annual affair was discontinued in 1995 because the cost of accident insurance became excessive.
Submitted a major proposal to the City of South Bend encouraging:
- Building of a safe canoe portage around the Dam
- Construction of a fish ladder
- Landscaping the small park at the Dam
- The reopening of the East Race and the construction of a whitewater slalom course for canoes and kayaks
- The building of a hike/bike trail along the St. Joseph River between Howard Park and the Farmer’s Market, now called the River Walk
These projects have been completed. The River Walk contains a stone marker honoring the effort of member George Scheuer in guiding the Walk to completion.
Sponsored and provided guidance for the design and construction of the East Race whitewater slalom course, one of only three manmade courses in the world. The course opened in 1984.
Fostered the formation of the St. Joseph River Basin Commission.
Sponsored with the City of South Bend the construction of the East Bank Trail, a hike/bike path from Howard Park to Angela Blvd. This project is complete.
1997 & 1999
Helped to facilitate the United States Canoe Association National Championships along with the Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor’s Bureau on the St. Joseph River in Niles, MI