Shirley Heinze Land
Trust has announced that it has acquired a 43.5-acre property along the
Little Calumet River in Westchester Township.
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.
plans to manage the land as a natural area and undertake restoration work to
enhance its environmental value,” said 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
Save the Dunes
praised the acquisition. “The East Branch of the Little Calumet River and
its tributaries suffer from impaired biotic communities, meaning in-stream
habitat is poor and doesn’t do a good job of supporting the insects that
fish depend on for food,” said Natalie Johnson, Executive Director of Save
the Dunes. “In 2015, Save the Dunes completed a watershed management plan
for the river that identified water quality improvement goals that
organizations and municipalities could undertake to improve this gem of a
waterway. We’re thrilled to see our partners at Shirley Heinze Land Trust
implement the plan and improve water quality through reforestation efforts.”
“We plan to install
a kayak launch upstream at the nearby Wykes-Plampin Nature Preserve,” Bird
adds. “From there paddlers will be able to navigate through the site.
Natural features present here include upland forest and floodplain wetlands
along the river. The location also provides good wildlife habitat.”
Purchase of the
property was made possible with matching funds from the Indiana Bicentennial
Nature Trust. Funding and technical assistance was also made available as
mitigation for impacts caused by the construction and maintenance of the
Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership, 6B Pipeline, in partnership with The
Conservation Fund and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
represents the most recent acquisition within the Little Calumet
Conservation Corridor, which was approved in 2014 as an Indiana Bicentennial
Nature Trust Conservation Area. Since then, Shirley Heinze and its partners
have worked to help connect already protected natural areas along the river.
In total, more than 2,300 acres have been protected along the East Branch of
the Little Calumet River by several conservation organizations, agencies,
information on the work and nature preserves of Shirley Heinze Land Trust,