Chesterton Tribune



Heinze fund wins $50K to buy public access site at Lydick Bog

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Shirley Heinze Land Trust hosted a Partnership Luncheon on Friday, April 7, 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.

Evie Kirkwood, Director of St. Joseph County Parks, welcomed guests and introduced Shirley Heinze Land Trust Vice-President Kelly Carmichael, who thanked Kirkwood for her work as Chair of the St. Joseph County Advisory Council, and also thanked partners and 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.

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 in donations has been raised for the purchase of a two-acre homestead adjacent to the Bog, upon which public access amenities will be built. Krouse thanked donors, notably the NiSource Charitable Foundation and the South Bend-Elkhart Audubon Society, along with many 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 Land Trust’s 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 existing unusable structures, the construction of a parking lot and trails, and the installation of preserve and interpretive signage. Plans also include construction of restrooms and a pole barn for stewardship equipment storage. A conservation plan will be developed and implemented to protect additional natural areas surrounding the Bog.

Public access to Lydick Bog is currently limited to guided hikes only, due to inaccessible conditions. Shirley Heinze will host guided hikes of Lydick Bog on Friday, June 23, from 10 a.m. to Noon. Hike details will be provided on the organization’s website at

Shirley Heinze Land Trust has been protecting and preserving natural land in Northwest Indiana since 1981. The organization accomplishes its work through a partnership of volunteers, donors, and professionals. More than 2,200 acres in Lake, Porter, LaPorte, and St. Joseph Counties have been preserved for the public’s benefit. Shirley Heinze nature preserves feature significant scenic and ecological value, and most are open to the public for hiking and enjoying nature. The organization protects, restores, and maintains examples of the entire spectrum of Northwest Indiana’s rich and significant natural communities, including tall grass prairie, high dune, oak savanna, boreal flatwoods, dune-and-swale, woodlands, marshes, swamps, ponds, fens, bogs, and riparian habitat.

For more information on the work and nature preserves of Shirley Heinze Land Trust, visit, call (219) 242-8558, or access its Facebook page at



Posted 4/20/2017




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