Trailhead Improvement Planned for Beanblossom Bottoms Funded by Duke Energy Foundation
The Duke Energy Foundation has awarded Sycamore Land Trust a grant of $10,000 to enhance the visitor experience at Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve. The funding will enable Sycamore to expand and enhance the parking lot, install a split rail fence around the parking area, and install a welcome education kiosk to provide information about the natural history of the preserve and some of the rare plants and animals that live there. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2022.
From left: Mary Welz, Sycamore Land Trust Educator Director; John Lawrence Sycamore Land Trust Executive Director; Ann Connors, Sycamore Land Trust Development Director; Rob McCrea, Sycamore Land Trust Land Preservation Director; Bruce Calloway, Government and Community Relations Manager at Duke Energy; Kim Vogelsang, Midwest Stakeholder Philanthropy Manager at Duke Energy; Ellen Bergan, Sycamore Land Trust Land Stewardship Assistant; Susan Haislip Daleke, Sycamore Land Trust Administrative Director
Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve, located in Monroe County, Indiana, is a 736-acre wetland hardwood forest and a particular focus of Sycamore’s land conservation and stewardship work. It is one of Sycamore’s 13 free public nature preserves in southern Indiana.
The preserve is home to at least 20 endangered and protected species and has been recognized as a State Important Bird Area from the National Audubon Society, a Wetland of Distinction from the Society of Wetland Scientists, and an Indiana State Nature Preserve by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
It is also a poplar nature preserve with hikers, birders, wildlife enthusiasts, and nature lovers of all backgrounds. With a 2.5-mile elevated boardwalk trail, one of the longest in the state, Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve gives visitors an opportunity to explore a rare swampy wetland habitat that would otherwise be inaccessible to visit and hike through.
“Sycamore Land Trust has made considerable investment into enhancing Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve,” said Duke Energy Community Relations Manager Bruce Calloway. “We continue to support their hard work and dedication to make improvements, increase accessibility and add educational components to this important wetland habitat.”
“Beanblossom Bottoms and all our public nature preserves have received a significant increase in visitation during COVID, and we expect that to continue going forward,” said John Lawrence, Executive Director of Sycamore Land Trust. “Duke’s ongoing support is key to Sycamore’s work to continue to connect people to nature.”
Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to meet the needs of communities where Duke Energy customers live and work. The Foundation contributes more than $2 million annually in charitable gifts to Indiana and is funded by Duke Energy shareholder dollars. More information about the foundation and its Powerful Communities program can be found at duke-energy.com/foundation.