The bus is full, but you may call us at 219-242-8558 to get on a waiting list!
All-Day Bus Tour of Shirley Heinze Land Trust Nature Preserves
Date: Saturday, October 14
Time: 8 am-3:30 pm
Departure Location: Meadowbrook
Join us for our popular educational bus tour of several of our nature preserves. Staff, board members and guest speakers - including IUN Geosciences Professor Dr. Erin Argyilan and Dan Plath, Chief of Resource Management at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and co-founder of the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association – will provide insights on land conservation and the ecology, geology, and history of Northwest Indiana.
Twelve of the organization’s nature preserves are included on the tour through Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties. The bus will make brief stops at four preserves.
The bus will depart promptly at 8:00 a.m. from the Meadowbrook Conservation Center and Nature Preserve located at 109 W. 700 North, Valparaiso, IN. It will pass by John Merle Coulter Nature Preserve in Portage on the way to Seidner Dune & Swale in Hammond, a unique 46-acre preserve which lies along the Grand Calumet River between Kennedy and Cline Avenues. The group will be met by Paul Labus, Northwest Indiana Project Director for The Nature Conservancy, who will speak briefly about restoration work at this preserve, which contains globally-rare dune and swale habitat.
The bus will then travel to the Hobart Marsh project area. On the way it will pass Hidden Prairie/Ivory Wetlands located west of I-65, and then drive by Oak Woods, and Gordon & Faith Greiner Nature Preserve, both located along Liverpool Road in Hobart. From there, the tour will continue on to Cressmoor Prairie for a short stop to see and hear about restoration efforts at this beautiful example of a black-soil prairie.
The bus will then travel to Meadowbrook Conservation Center and Nature Preserve in Valparaiso for a lunch break, with food provided by Third Coast Spice Cafe.
The afternoon portion of the tour will focus on preserves in Porter and LaPorte Counties. Along the way, participants will hear about the Little Calumet Conservation Corridor project and the restoration and public access improvements being performed at preserves along the river. The bus will drive past Wykes - Plampin Nature Preserve in Chesterton, and make a brief stop at the 165-acre Dale B. Engquist Nature Preserve, located along the Little Calumet River adjacent to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s (IDNL) Heron Rookery. This preserve was recently named in honor of the late board member and former Superintendent of the IDNL. From there the bus will head to the Ambler Flatwoods project area in Michigan City, and will pass by Meer Woods, a recent 19-acre addition to the project.
On the final leg of the tour, the bus will take a scenic drive through the Great Marsh in Beverly Shores and a make a brief stop at the Great Marsh Trail. Water birds such as herons and egrets can often be seen at this wetland restoration area. The tour will conclude back at the Meadowbrook at 3:30 p.m.
Information for Attendees:
Directions to Meadowbrook:
From Hwy 49: take Hwy 6 west to Meridian Rd. Turn left (south) on Meridian and travel approximately 1 mile to CR 700 N. Turn right (west) on 700. Travel another mile, Meadowbrook will be on your right hand side.