I am convinced that most Americans have no idea what a decent forest looks like. The only way to tell them is to show them.” -Aldo Leopold
The same could be said for wetlands. Wetlands are essential to watershed health and water quality by providing habitat for wetland species, modulating flood events, and filtering pollutants. Unfortunately 85 percent of wetlands in Indiana have been converted to other uses, and, although public perception of wetlands is improving, wetlands are still widely regarded as unattractive, stagnant breeding grounds for pestilence and mosquitoes. This perception comes from a lack of exposure to, and education about the functions of natural wetlands.
With the help of its partners and funders, the NMP EcoLab is helping to change that perception. The EcoLab provides an opportunity for the Indiana adult community, K-12 school groups, and Marian College students to experience native Indiana in the 55-acre wetlands and lowland forest on the Marian College campus just a few miles northwest of downtown Indianapolis.