A locally produced documentary entitled “Everglades of the North: The Story
of the Grand Kankakee Marsh” will air at 8 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 5, on WYIN
56 - Lakeshore Public Television of Merrillville and also on WNIT 34 in
South Bend on Nov. 8.
Lakeshore is the
PBS “presenting station” for the film.
television documentary tells the history of the Grand Kankakee Marsh and how
people have used and perceived this wetland for more than 10,000 years.
The Marsh may
have been as large as one million acres in northern Indiana and Illinois,
and was home to some of the highest concentrations of wildlife and waterfowl
in North America.
Less than 5
percent of the Kankakee River marshes survived modern development and the
film explores the important role this wetland played in the history of the
area. It looks at the natural and cultural history of the area and the
different uses of the land from the earliest Native Americans to the
European settlement to modern agriculture.
“This has been
an incredible experience,” said producer Pat Wisniewski, founder of For
Goodness Sakes Productions in Valparaiso. Wisniewski teamed up with friend
and syndicated columnist Jeff Manes of Lowell, who grew up on the Kankakee
River and approached her about creating a story about the marsh. “It didn’t
take long for us to realize we needed to make this documentary,” he said.
“We need to tell this story.”
Kankakee Marsh is something that man had destroyed before he realized its
value”, said Guy Carlson, of the Izaak Walton League – Diana Chapter. “Now
we need to give something back to nature.”
helped raise funds for the production of the film.