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Wetland Restoration Workshop at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge

September 16, 2015 @ 7:45 am - September 17, 2015 @ 4:30 pm


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Indiana Chapter of The Wildlife Society, and the Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy present a series of two day Wetland Restoration Workshops with Tom Biebighauser at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge on September 14 – 15 and September 16-17, 2015.

This hands-on restoration workshop is designed for individuals interested in learning how to use practical, low cost techniques to restore wetlands for rare species of wildlife. Attendees will discover how to select locations for building wetlands, test soil texture, choose appropriate construction techniques, work with heavy equipment operators, and establish native plants. Throughout the two-day workshop you will help create a grassland wetland complex for the benefit of a diverse group of species including migratory birds, reptiles, and amphibians!

Tom Biebighauser has restored over 1,700 wetlands in 22-States, Canada, and New Zealand. He teaches practical, hands-on wetland restoration workshops around the world where participants learn about restoration and drainage by becoming involved in the design and construction of naturally appearing and functioning wetlands. Tom has developed highly successful and inexpensive techniques for restoring and repairing wetlands on rangeland, mined areas, steep slopes, mountain ridges, large valleys, timber sale areas, and at schools. He’s written three books about restoring wetlands A Guide to Creating Vernal Ponds in 2003, Wetland Drainage, Restoration, and Repair in 2007, and Wetland Restoration and Construction Technical Guide in 2011. You can view some of the wetlands he has restored by visiting: www.wetlandrestorationandtraining.com.

Registration is $50, please register at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2JCJ6QJ. TWS members are asked to register for the second, 2-day workshop. Our business meeting will be held in association with this workshop. Payment can be sent before the training via check (made out to the Muscatatuck Wildlife Society) or the first day of the training via credit card. If paying by check, please send to:

Big Oaks NWR
1661 W JPG Niblo Road
Madison, IN 47250

Lunch will be provided each day and each participant will receive a copy of Tom’s technical guide: Wetland Restoration and Construction. Please dress for the weather as we will be outside for most of the workshop! For more information contact Ben Walker at 812-273-0783 or benjamin_walker@fws.gov.

A block of rooms is being held on September 15 and 16 at the Holiday Inn Express, 249 N. Sandy Creek Dr., Seymour, IN 47274, 812.522.1200.  Room rate is $89.  The block will be released after August 25, 2015.

All rooms include our Smart Start Breakfast Buffet which features hot & cold items daily, complimentary WIFI and use of our indoor heated pool & spa and well equipped fitness center.

Agenda – Day 1 (Monday the 14th or Wednesday the 16th)

7:45am Arrive at Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 12985 E. U.S. Highway 50, Seymour, IN 47274

8:00am Travel to wetland project location

8:30am Safety discussion, review wetland project location, begin building wetland using heavy equipment
 Topsoil removal
 Deep test holes
 Determining the desired depth

12:00pm Lunch (provided)

12:30pm Wetland Restoration Continues
 Groundwater dam construction
 Using a penetrometer to measure compaction

5:30pm Construction ends for the day

6:00 pm Dinner on your own

7:00 pm A History of Wetland Drainage presentation by Tom Biebighauser

TWS Business Meeting (TBD)

Agenda – Day 2 (Tuesday the 15th or Thursday the 17th)

8:00am Continue restoring a wetland using heavy equipment
 Spillway construction
 Replacing topsoil
 Building pits and mounds
 The rough and loose technique for grading
 Advantages of using service contracts to build wetlands versus construction contracts

12:00 pm Lunch (provided)

12:30 pm Wetland restoration continues
 Woody debris placement
 Seeding wheat for erosion control and to control non-native species
 Mulching using straw for erosion control and to control non-native species
 Planting native species
While construction is taking place:
 Soil texture and wetland construction techniques field exercise
 Financing wetland projects discussion
 Building wetlands to benefit bats discussion

4:30 pm Adjourn


September 16, 2015 @ 7:45 am
September 17, 2015 @ 4:30 pm


Ben Walker


Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center
12985 E. U.S. Hwy 50
Seymour, IN 47274 United States
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