In September, we were thrilled to protect a 43.5-acre property along the Little Calumet River in Chesterton. The land consists of 13 acres of natural area along the river and 30.5 acres that is currently in agriculture. Located west of Brummitt Road and south of Brummitt Elementary School, the property increases to 420 acres the total amount of land held by Shirley Heinze along the river’s East Branch.
“Shirley Heinze plans to manage the land as a natural area and undertake restoration work to enhance its environmental value,” says Stewardship Director Eric Bird. “Reforestation of the agricultural portion of the property will be a long-term goal. Restoration will enhance the quality of local waterways and contribute to good storm water management for the community and the Little Calumet River.”
Shirley Heinze Land Trust announces that it has acquired a 16-acre wooded property in Wills Township, LaPorte County, southeast of Rolling Prairie. The woodland is home to an extremely diverse variety of plant species, including 41 plants whose presence is indicative of high quality, relatively undisturbed habitats. It also features a rich population of spring ephemeral wildflowers. Local botanists have long been aware the woods, and its surroundings and have been advocating for its protection for some time.
"This property is part of a large, rich forest that covers many more acres. Springtime displays of many kinds of wildflowers, including blue-eyed Mary, are breathtaking, and in summer the diversity of ferns, grasses, and sedges is superb. There is also a very nice array of wildlife here" says botanist Keith Board, who along with Life Board Member Barbara Plampin, began exploring the area many years ago.
Life Board Member Myrna Newgent adds, “The property has the most wonderful display of spring ephemerals anywhere in Northwest Indiana.”
“Shirley Heinze Land Trust is proud to protect this biodiverse gem in the vicinity of Rolling Prairie and eastern LaPorte County where we historically haven’t had a project area, and we look forward to maintaining the site for generations to come” says Executive Director Kristopher Krouse.
There are currently no trails on the property. Visitation is by guided hike only until public access amenities can be created.
These lands are being conserved, in part, by funding and technical assistance made available as mitigation for habitat impacts anticipated to arise through construction of the Greentown Reynolds Transmission Line, in partnership with Shirley Heinze Land Trust and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Brian Kortum, Manager of Natural Resources Permitting at NiSource Environmental, says, “NIPSCO is very excited to be able to direct its mitigation funds toward conserving this site. The quality and diversity of this site far exceeds that of the fragmented wood lots impacted by the Greentown Reynolds project. By pooling these funds, we are able to help meet regional conservation goals as well as regional energy needs."
We are thrilled to announce that Shirley Heinze Land Trust has acquired a 176-acre property in St. Joseph County. The property contains one of the last remaining bog habitats in Indiana, and it represents a milestone for the organization as its first land conservation project outside of Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties.
Earlier this year, we successfully concluded our first-ever Capital Campaign.
In 2013 we embarked on a project to raise $3.5 million dollars to permanently protect an additional 500 acres of environmentally significant land, provide enhanced restoration, maintenance, and management of new and existing preserves, and educate and promote conservation awareness by providing increased access to natural areas.
We celebrated 35 years of land conservation in Northwest Indiana at our annual spring benefit on June 4. The event was held at Valparaiso University’s Harre Union, with more than 400 supporters and guests in attendance.
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