Chesterton Tribune



Local Izaak Walton chapter buys 49 acres in Jackson Twp

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The Porter County Chapter of the Izaak Walton League has increased its conservation land holdings in the area by another 49 acres, with a recent purchase in Jackson Township.

According to a statement released on Tuesday, the local chapter acquired the two parcels--located at 1167N 575E, just south of Burdick Road--from Sandra Bedenkop, with the assistance of The Conservation Fund and the Enbridge L-6b Mitigation Fund as well as of the Indiana Bicentennial Nature Trust.

“This property has some nice natural remnants on it and we will be working to restore its natural values,” Porter County Chapter President Jim Sweeney said. “It will be one of the anchors for other projects in the area.”

“I am thrilled the Ike’s will own it and protect it permanently as open space,” Bedenkop said for her part. “That property is part of my life, part of our family legacy.”

The chapter will name the property the “Sandra D. Bedenkop Family Spring Run Woodlands,” the statement noted.

Chapter members Terry McCloskey and Don Frame approached Bedenkop last spring with the idea of purchasing the property to protect it from development. “Terry was incredibly knowledgeable about protecting land and it was his idea to contact Sandra,” Frame said.

McCloskey passed away July 10, without seeing the acquisition formalized last week. “This project is another feather in Terry’s cap” Sweeney said. “He has left an incredible conservation legacy in northwest Indiana.”

Funding for the purchase came from the Enbridge 6b Mitigation Fund created by the company to compensate for the impacts of their new 6b pipeline. In collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, The Conservation Fund administers the fund.

The Enbridge 6b Mitigation Fund’s grant was then matched by the Indiana Bicentennial Nature Trust (BNT) of the DNR, a project of the Bicentennial Commission, co-chaired by former Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman and former U.S. Representative Lee Hamilton. The program is aimed at expanding trails, conservation areas, and recreation sites to help celebrate Indiana’s 200 years of statehood in 2016. To date, the BNT has approved 142 land acquisition projects in 61 counties, 83 of which are complete for a total of more than 12 square miles of newly protected lands.

This acquisition increases the Porter County Chapter’s holdings in the area to 121 acres, which are being managed to restore and protect native species and to support local conservation education programs.


Posted 8/5/2015




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