2017 Spring Partnership Luncheon in South Bend
.Shirley Heinze Land Trust hosted a Partnership Luncheon on Friday, April 7, 2017 at the Century Center in South Bend. More than 80 guests were in attendance to learn more about Shirley Heinze Land Trust, and to hear updates on plans for public access at the recently preserved Lydick Bog, a 176-acre property west of South Bend that contains one of the last remaining bog habitats in Indiana. (Click here to read more about Lydick Bog.)
Evie Kirkwood, Director of St. Joseph County Parks, welcomed guests and introduced Shirley Heinze Land Trust Vice-President Kelly Carmichael, who thanked Evie for her work as Chair of the Shirley Heinze St. Joseph County Advisory Council. He also thanked event sponsors and partners.
During the program, Executive Director Kristopher Krouse provided an overview of the role of a land trust and the history and work of Shirley Heinze Land Trust. Botanist Scott Namestnik, Senior Plant Biologist at Orbis Environmental Consulting, provided a description of the natural features of a bog.
Krouse announced that $50,000 has been raised for the purchase of a two-acre homestead adjacent to the Bog. Public access amenities planned for this site include a parking lot, and restrooms, as well as a structure for stewardship equipment storage. Shirley Heinze is very grateful to the generous donors who made this purchase possible, notably the NiSource Charitable Foundation and the South Bend-Elkhart Audubon Society, along with many other individuals.
Northern Indiana Public Service Executive Vice-president and President, Violet Sistovaris presented the organization with a check for $30,000, a gift from the NiSource Charitable Foundation. "Indiana is blessed to have such a range of diverse habitats and natural resources," said Sistovaris. "Partnerships like this are critical in preserving these areas, which provide such important ecological and societal benefits."
The next step in the Lydick Bog Capital Improvement Project, will be to raise an additional $200,000 for the creation of public access amenities on the homestead, including the demolition of the existing (unusable) structures, the construction of a parking lot and trails, and the installation of preserve and interpretive signage. The project plans also include building restrooms and pole barn for stewardship equipment storage. A conservation plan will be developed and implemented to protect additional natural areas surrounding the Bog.
Shirley Heinze Land Trust will permanently protect Lydick Bog for generations to come. This is of vital importance to the quality of life for current and future residents of St. Joseph County as there are few high-quality natural areas remaining in the South Bend area. Lydick Bog will become a preeminent nature preserve where the public – children and adults alike – can learn, recreate and enjoy nature.
We are very grateful to our event sponsors, Northern Indiana Public Service, South Bend-Elkhart Audubon Society, The Troyer Group, Suzy Vance and Tim Griffin, Anne and Tim Walsh, and Robert and Charlotte Wolfe.
South Bend Tribune Press Coverage
Photos from the 2017 Partnership Luncheon