The Shirley Heinze
Land Trust has acquired two properties totaling 42 acres along Sand Creek in
properties--approximately 18 acres in size and 24 acres--are located on the
east bank of Sand Creek, south of Indian Boundary Road, Shirley Heinze
announced in a statement released on Tuesday.
“plans to manage the land as a natural area, undertake restoration work to
enhance its environmental value, and make it available as a community
resource for educational and recreational activities,” Shirley Heinze said.
“Restoration will enhance the quality of local waterways and contribute to
good storm water management for the community and the Little Calumet River.”
The 42 acres
feature beech and maple upland forest, floodplain wetlands along the creek,
and a significant habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, including
migrating and nesting birds. A variety of spring ephemeral
wildflowers--notably a display of large-flowered trillium--also blooms on
the forest floor. “Though not currently open to the public, the organization
plans to build and maintain public trails for hiking, birding, and other
passive recreational activities,” Shirley Heinze said.
The two properties,
acquired in December, bring the total acreage added in 2016 to the Little
Calumet Conservation Corridor--approved as an Indiana Bicentennial Nature
Trust Conservation Area--220. The goal, Shirley Heinze said: to “help
connect protected natural areas along the Little Calumet River through
In total, more than
2,200 acres have been protected along the East Branch of the Little Calumet
River by several conservation organizations, agencies, and municipalities.
amount of work has been achieved over the past few years thanks to the
Indiana Department of Natural Resources and other local partners, including
Save the Dunes, The Nature Conservancy, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore,
the Northwest Indiana Paddling Association, Northwestern Indiana Regional
Planning Commission, ArcelorMittal, Northern Indiana Public Service Company,
Porter County Izaak Walton League, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley
Foundation, and others,” Shirley Heinze Executive Director Kristopher Krouse
Shirley Heinze Land
Trust has been protecting and preserving natural land with significant
scenic and ecological value since 1981. That land--most of it open to the
public for hiking and enjoying nature--covers the entire spectrum of
Northwest Indiana's rich and significant natural communities, including
tallgrass prairie, high dune, oak savanna, boreal flatwoods, dune-and-swale,
woodlands, marshes, swamps, ponds, fens, bogs, and riparian habitat.
Five of Shirley
Heinze’s properties--Cressmoor Prairie, Seidner Dune & Swale, John Merle
Coulter Preserve, Barker Woods, and Ambler Flatwoods--have been dedicated to
the people of Indiana as state nature preserves.
information on the work and nature preserves of Shirley Heinze Land Trust,
visit www.heinzetrust.org, call
(219) 242-8558, or access its Facebook page at