Prophetstown State Park, located between the Wabash and the Tippecanoe Rivers in Indiana, was the site of a Native American village established in 1808 by the Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, and his brother Tenskwatawa, “The Prophet”. It also contains several other archaeological sites that have yielded important information on the lives of Native Americans who lived there between 1000 BC and 1300 AD, including the intact remains of a house that is more than 3,600 years old.
As erosion along the banks of the Wabash River threatened important archeological sites, the State Park identified an area that it wished to restore to its original pre-pioneer-era ecology. A win-win opportunity presented itself when nearby roadway improvements required mitigation of significant wetlands and stream banks. Lochmueller Group worked with the Indiana Department of Transportation and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to evaluate the suitability of the Prophetstown site for mitigation and prepared a design and monitoring plan to meet the agencies’ goals. Using bioengineering techniques on approximately 5,000 feet of the river, natural drainage patterns and vegetation were restored. Key to this effort was minimizing erosion along the Wabash River in order to protect important archeological resources.