Prairie Creek Reservoir:

In 2011, Prairie Creek Reservoir was presented the Exceptional Commitment to Conservation Award by the Upper White River Watershed Alliance Stewardship Awards Program. This Award recognizes a specific environmental project that has demonstrated significant leadership in a focused area of resource conservation (water, materials and/or energy, land, etc.).

Planning for Prairie Creek Reservoir began in 2000 with the White River Watershed Project Prairie Creek Sub-Watershed Management Plan and continued in 2007 with the development of the Prairie Creek Master Plan, a Muncie-Delaware County Comprehensive Plan implementation measure funded by the WRWP. These plans outlined the locations for resource conservation at the Reservoir and made recommendations for sustainable development, ultimately leading to a rezoning adopted by the Delaware County Commissioners in 2008.

Water quality improvement projects, implemented by the Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District, through its IDEM section 319 cost- share program, include swales/rain gardens, bank erosion repairs, critical area plantings, and subsurface infiltration trenches. These improvements have created and enhanced recreational uses for Prairie Creek Reservoir, improved water quality, reduced maintenance costs, and eliminated significant sources of erosion. These accomplishments have helped to spark further planning and development.

The Award is continuing recognition that the City of Muncie and Delaware County are at the forefront of green infrastructural improvements.  

Recreational Trails Program:
In 2012, The Prairie Creek Trails Project/City of Muncie and Delaware County Soil and Water Conservation District received a major RTP (Recreational Trails Program) grant from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. This $150,000 grant will enable the City of Muncie to develop 0.85 miles of crushed limestone trail (of 12’ width) for bike/pedestrian traffic at Priaire Creek Reservoir. Added improvements in conjunction with the project will include a trailhead and boardwalks as well as mountain bike and expanded horse trails. Additional funding for the trail construction has been leveraged through grants and in-kind donations from the George and Francis Ball and the Ball Brothers foundations, and Ball State University (through the Department of Landscape Architecture design-build program).

While initial developments will be localized on the southern portion of the reservoir, future development will connect major recreational amenities along the eastern shore, increasing connectivity as well as advancing the conservation and recreation zone recently placed around the reservoir. Be sure to visit the Prairie Creek Trails Blog at: http://prairiecreektrails.blogspot.com/ and follow the construction phases over the next 5-8 years.

More information about the White River Watershed Project and projects completed at Prairie Creek Reservoir can be found at whiteriverwatershedproject.org or by contacting Colby Gray at cgray@flatlandresources.com.