What did our supporters accomplish last year?
By John Lawrence, Assistant Director
A lot! Keeping track of all the land protection projects—big and small—completed over the course of a year can be challenging, so we’ve pulled together this wrap-up for you! Last year Sycamore completed seven important acquisitions in five different counties and secured funding for a major project area, all listed in order below.
We also pursued many other land projects throughout 2014, several of which are already coming to fruition this year. As always, it’s the support of our members that makes these successes possible!
Singer Tract (January): This small but key 1.7-acre property in Pike County is surrounded by Sycamore’s Columbia Mine Preserve and a planned addition to Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge. Sycamore sprung into action when the parcel was almost lost at tax sale, and purchased it from the original owner thanks to a gift from Bob and Judy Wargel. Now the property fills a hole in the refuge, as Sycamore sold the land to Patoka River NWR when funding was available in September.
Moore Family Tract (February): One of two additions in 2014 to Sycamore’s Trevlac Bluffs Nature Preserve in Brown County, these wooded eight acres share a corner with the existing preserve and are right across from the Nolan Family Tract (see below). Jan Moore and sons Adrian and Martin made a half-price bargain sale donation to Sycamore, matched by a grant from the Indiana Bicentennial Nature Trust.
Wood Preserve and Kent Preserve (March): Totaling 95 acres in Monroe County next to Morgan-Monroe State Forest, these neighboring properties provide habitat for state-endangered timber rattlesnakes and have a scenic waterfall. Lindsay and Loren Wood’s donation of 40 acres allowed Sycamore to match grants from the Bicentennial Nature Trust and The Nature Conservancy and purchase 55 acres from Gary and Dianne Kent. A small parking area will be added so visitors can walk along the old gravel road that crosses the properties.
Nolan Family Tract (June): The second addition to Trevlac Bluffs Nature Preserve in a year, this 18-acre wood in Brown County connects to the Moore Tract and has frontage on Dove Bill Lane. Undisturbed for over 60 years, it had been purchased by the late Val Nolan Jr. and family in 1950. Like the Moores, the Nolans made a half-price bargain sale donation to match a grant from the Bicentennial Nature Trust.
Danak Conservation Easements (July): Dorothy Danak donated conservation easements on two parcels in Crawford County, totaling 106 acres. One property features a high-quality native hardwood forest on a steep slope above Brushy Creek, and the other contains a diverse mix of forest and open habitat next to a historic cemetery.
Beanblossom Creek Conservation Area (September): As detailed here, Sycamore secured the designation of a Bicentennial Conservation Area along Beanblossom Creek in Monroe County, with $1 million earmarked in matching funds for land acquisition.
Fish Creek Conservation Easement Addition (September): Myriam Wood added 10 more acres of forest to the 125 acres she and her late husband Jim had already protected along Fish Creek in Owen County.
Oliver Tract (December): This 27-acre addition to Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve (the first since 2001) was made possible by a bargain sale gift and other assistance from Bill and Kathleen Oliver, funding from the Bicentennial Nature Trust and the Ropchan Foundation, and restoration work donated by Cardno JFNew.
See more articles from the Winter 2015 Twig!