Tippecanoe River State Park Stream Bank Restoration Project

This project was mostly funded by the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s Lake and River Enhancement (LARE) Program. The goal of this program is to protect and enhance aquatic habitat for fish and wildlife, and to ensure the continued viability of Indiana’s publicly accessible lakes and streams for multiple uses, including recreational opportunities. This is accomplished through measures that reduce non-point sediment and nutrient pollution of surface waters to a level that meets or surpasses state water quality standards.

More information: Lake and River Enhancement Program (LARE) 1

Project Benefits:

Tippecanoe River Ecology

  • These 4 out of 12 state-endangered fish species can be found in the Tippecanoe River: Blue Breast Darter, Gilt Darter, Spotted Darter, and Tippecanoe Darter.
  • The Tippecanoe River also maintains 49 of the 57 mussel species known to the area.
  • The Nature Conservancy considers the Tippecanoe River as one of the top 10 rivers to be
    preserved in the Midwest.

“The Nature Conservancy considers the Tippecanoe River as one of the top ten rivers that must be preserved. Not only is it important to the community, but the number of endangered and threatened species that live there rely on it as well. In fact, four of the twelve state-endangered fish species can be found there. All four are darters and include the blue breast darter; gilt darter; spotted darter; and the Tippecanoe darter. The river also maintains 49 of the 57 mussel species it historically had such as slippershells and salamander mussels.” 

Check out this awesome article on mussels in the Tippecanoe River, featured in Indianapolis Monthly,Troubled Waters, authored by our friend at White County Soil and Water Conservation District, Mark Wright.

Troubled Waters Downloadable PDF

Hilgemeier Property will now be known as “Otter Bend”

– Experienced nearly a century of excessive and neglected bank erosion.
– A concrete seawall was installed 40-50 years ago, but has since pulled away from the bank.
– In addition to the high sediment-deposition rate, the historic Hilgemeier house and outbuildings are in danger of severe damage and perhaps total loss should the bank continue its erosion.
– Requesting funding to bio-engineer the west bank (Approx. 300 linear feet) Natural channel design techniques will be implemented.

Canoe Camp

– Highly trafficked area by canoe liveries, independent river enthusiasts, and educational groups.
– Experiencing extreme bank erosion.
– Requesting funding to bio-engineer the stream bank at this public access site. The same natural
channel design techniques will be used at this location.

Project Timeline:

January 2014:
LARE Grant Application submitted to DNR (Design Study)
July 2014: Design project approved by DNR

2015-2016: Work with FlatLand Resources (FLR) to complete engineering design report
January 2017: Submit application to DNR for construction phase of LARE project


2017: Finalize plans for construction 100%

– Finalize bid meetings and documentation, project addendums, and contracting

– Contracted Cardno, Inc. to complete project.

2018: Complete wetland delineation and permitting

– Complete stream bank construction and planting

– Boy scout troupe 219 plant 600 dogwood stakes

– 2018 Partnership Award from Indiana State Parks

2019: District Showcase Award

2020: Grand Opening

-Receive District Showcase Award at IASWCD Annual Conference

-Tippecanoe River State Park will be opening “Otter Bend” to the public at the end of July 2020


Construction Cost Estimate:
Total: $142,000.00

Otter Bend Before:

Otter Bend After:

Canoe Camp Before:

Canoe Camp After:


This project has received two awards:

2018 Partnership Award from Indiana State Parks for our work with Tippecanoe River State Park.

District Showcase Award presented at the IASWCD Annual Conference, sponsored by Indiana Conservation Partnership.




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