Storm Damage & Updates

Northwest corner of Bowman Lake – courtesy Drone Taskforce

 

08/04/2022 from the Superintendent of Allen County Parks…

After what seems like an eternity, and I know all are anxious for the park to be re-opened we have accomplished the following items:

  • THANKS TO THE MANY THAT HAVE DONATED TOWARDS THE DAMAGE – If you haven’t received a thank you letter please bear with us, THEY ARE COMING. We will use these funds for removal and restoration of the devastated areas.
  • Damage assessment – thanks to the staff’s hard work we have counted 1,150 trees down in the park on trails and roads. The Drone Taskforce flew drones over affected areas and we got a much better assessment of the devastation that occurred. It is quite a mess out there! Our sincere appreciation to this group for their assistance!!
  • The IDNR Division of Nature Preserves visited the park (as 305 acres are State Nature Preserve and come with restrictions) and based on their assessments of the situation they are allowing removal of many of the downed trees. There are simply too many trees to proceed as we normally would with just clearing the trails and leaving the trees to go back to the earth naturally. There would be no way that saplings could grow and the invasive species would take over.
  • In house crews have cleared and cleaned up some areas of the park but based on the damage assessments this was simply too large a project to handle with our staff and volunteers.
  • Based on this we are working with Graber Lumber to remove the many logs but this will take at least two months!
  • When they are finished we will begin the task of dragging and chipping of the canopies of the trees which will be a HUGE undertaking in itself! This will also be an opportunity for volunteers to help!! BUT THIS WON’T BE FOR MONTHS.
  • And once that is accomplished we will start on restoring trails and roadways to a safe state. We have root balls that are 20 feet tall which means there is a HUGE hole next to trail!

So for now the park will remain closed! The safety of the public is our utmost concern.

 

06/22/2022 from the Superintendent of Allen County Parks…

Fox Island County Park sustained heavy storm damage the night of June 13, 2022. Luckily our buildings were spared any damage but the same cannot be said for the forest, trails and roads within the park. We are estimating that between 800 to 1000 trees were brought down by the storm. We were not the only ones affected by these storms and our thoughts and prayers are with those who sustained damages to their properties in the Waynedale area and southwest Fort Wayne and Allen County.

We are currently closed and will be for the foreseeable future as we attempt to assess damage, formulate plans for removal of trees and debris from the site, and actually accomplish those plans. It is simply not safe within the park at this time to allow the public ANY kind of entry into the park.  This will be a long process as we can’t open just certain areas of the park and expect that people will not wander off into dangerous situations.

Many of you have called and ask to volunteer and help with the clean up. We really appreciate your offers and at some point in the future we will certainly call out for help. For liability reasons and until we get some of the major damage cleaned up it is not safe for volunteers to assist us.

Others have asked about donating funds to assist with our efforts. We will gladly accept donations and these funds will be deposited in our Gift Fund to offset our costs, as salaries for employees are the only tax supported funds we receive annually. All operating expenses are generated from entry fees, programs and rentals of which this park for the time being is not generating. If you are inclined to do so make checks payable to and send to:

Allen County Parks
Attn: Storm Damage
7324 Yohne Road
Fort Wayne IN 46809

Again, thank you! 

Below are some pictures of just some of the damage and a cute one of a Santa Claus we found in the lake parking lot the next morning. Hopefully we will be back open by the time the real Santa comes back this way!