The Waterford Wetlands, is an extension of the sanctuary of Waterford Mennonite Church. Fifty-five acres of wetlands include unspoiled natural areas and unique wildlife habitat. As part of the Elkhart River floodplain, these wetlands serve a crucial role in the local water cycle, providing a natural way of cleansing and purifying water as well as slowing down the swift movement of water runoff. Various trails meander between excavated ponds and natural marshland giving acres of habitat for animals such as turtles, beavers and numerous bird species.
In the 1950s, the pond on the east side (closest to SR 15) was dug out by the former church property owner, John Grabill, to create a fish pond. In 1973, after the Waterford Mennonite Church building was built, the west pond was dug. The resulting soil was used to make a higher trail through the area, thus making the wetlands accessible to community people. Throughout the years, various people have invested time and money to maintain and improve the wetlands area.
You will likely observe many species of native plants and wildlife as you walk the trails. As you experience the sights, sounds and smells of the wetlands, please observe the guidelines below. This will allow many others after you to enjoy the same natural beauty:
- Use trails and be aware of any holes or unevenness.
- The wetlands area can be used between dawn and dusk.
- Carry any trash back out with you.
- Leave nature as you find it, rather than disturbing or disrupting the plants or animals.
- Keep noise to a minimum for the animals and others who may be present.