Chesterton Tribune



Shirley Heinze acquires 7.7 acres in Porter along Little Calumet River

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The Shirley Heinze Land Trust has acquired a 7.7-acre property along the Little Calumet River in the Town of Porter.

The property, located west of the Keith Richard Walner Nature Preserve and adjacent to Hawthorne Park, is the latest addition to the Little Calumet Conservation Corridor, Shirley Heinze announced today.

The Little Calumet Conservation Corridor “was approved in 2014 as an Indiana Bicentennial Nature Trust Conservation Area, one of five such designated project areas in the state,” Shirley Heinze said. “Its goal is to help connect currently protected natural areas along the Little Calumet River.”

The Little Calumet River meanders at this location, where it features an actively forming oxbow as well as a small island. Originally part of the Hokanson family farm, the property falls on both banks of the river and includes a spring. “While there are no plans for direct public access at this time, paddlers will be able to travel through the area,” Shirley Heinze noted.

Meanwhile, Shirley Heinze has also acquired a 10-acre example of boreal flatwoods habitat within the Ambler Flatwoods Project area in Michigan City. The property, located near U.S. Highway 12 and Meer Road, was donated by area residents Jannine and Dr. Glenn Aldinger. and will provide a buffer for the wooded wetlands and wildlife habitat found within nearby Ambler Flatwoods, a 353-acre state-dedicated nature preserve home to a number of rare plants, including some species that are more commonly found in locations further north.

“We are very grateful to the Aldingers, who worked tirelessly to see this donation come to fruition,” Shirley Heinze Executive Director Kristopher Krouse said.

The Shirley Heinze Land Trust has been protecting and preserving natural land since 1981, accomplishing its work through a partnership of volunteers, donors, and professionals. More than 2,100 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,” Shirley Heinze said. “The organization protects, restores, and maintains examples of 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 its 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.”

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Posted 11/22/2016




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