Once stretching over 12 miles, the largest interdunal wetland on Lake Michigan is getting a well deserved restoration. Following years of draining, farming, industry, and road building, the Great Marsh is returning to its former glory as a haven for water birds, insects, and native wetland plants.
Thanks to volunteers and the National Park Service, invasive species are being removed, native plants planted, and ditches filled in - all to return the marsh to a more natural state.
Drive or walk near the intersection of Broadway Road and Beverly Drive in Beverly Shores, Indiana, and observe a portion of the marsh for yourself. This is the Derby Ditch section of marsh, and it's come a long way in just a few short years. A relatively new parking area near the Beverly Shores Station of the South Shore electric line, allows visitors to park and walk along Beverly Drive, or walk the trails winding through the marsh. Expect to run into biting insects such as ticks and deer flies (they can dominate the experience in the summer), but long pants, repellent, and a wide-brimmed hat, can help keep the bothersome bugs at bay. Wide-brimmed hats not only keep the sun off of your head, they also keep the biting flies from landing on your face. I guess the brim messes with their navigation a bit.
The Great Marsh includes the Derby Ditch section near Beverly Shores and extends past Cowles Bog, to the wetlands near Burns Harbor.
Posted by Tom Gill at Wednesday, May 27, 2015