Menu

News

Check out the latest news stories and media coverage from Sycamore. For inquiries from members of the press, please contact Abby Henkel, Communications Director, at abby@sycamorelandtrust.org or 812-336-5382 ext 101.

Topic Selection

Job Opening: Executive Director

  • October 9, 2018

Sycamore Land Trust is seeking exceptionally qualified, motivated candidates for its Executive Director position. As chief executive officer, the Executive Director provides the vision and oversight for key program areas including land protection, land stewardship, and environmental education while overseeing six other full-time professional staff. This hard-working, experienced team looks forward to welcoming a leader […]

Sycamore Adds 84 Acres to Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve

  • September 17, 2018

We are thrilled to announce that we have added an 84-acre parcel of bottomland to Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve in Monroe County! This addition expands our footprint of protected land in an ecologically important area. The Beanblossom Creek conservation area contains bottomland and upland forest, wetland,…

  • Preserves,
  • Updates,
Read More

Beanblossom Bottoms to Close July 9 for Trail Work

  • September 17, 2018

Sycamore Land Trust is excited to announce that the popular boardwalk trail at Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve will be undergoing a renovation soon, a er a weather delay earlier this year. The front portion of the wooden boardwalk trail — the longest of its kind in Indiana — will be replaced with a new design […]

  • Notice,
  • Preserves,
Read More

Christian Freitag to leave position at Sycamore Land Trust for the Conservation Law Center

  • September 17, 2018

Christian Freitag, Executive Director of Sycamore Land Trust for the past 18 years, has resigned from his position to become President and Director of the Conservation Law Center, a public-interest nonprofit environmental law firm based in Bloomington. Sycamore Land Trust is a nonprofit conservation organization whose mission is to preserve the beauty, health,…

  • Staff,
Read More

Monarch Environmental Education Endowment

  • June 13, 2018

by Ann Connors, Development Director This article originally appeared in the summer 2018 issue of The Twig, our 24-page member newsletter. To read more from this issue, click here. To become a member and receive The Twig in the mail, become a member. Why are our favorite memories so often about being outdoors? There’s something about playing, hiking, and relaxing […]

Stewardship Report

  • June 13, 2018

by Chris Fox, Land Stewardship Manager This article originally appeared in the summer 2018 issue of The Twig, our 24-page member newsletter. To read more from this issue, click here. To become a member and receive The Twig in the mail, become a member. “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see […]

Land Protection Update

  • June 7, 2018

by John Lawrence, Assistant Director This article originally appeared in the summer 2018 issue of The Twig, our 24-page member newsletter. To read more from this issue, click here. To become a member and receive The Twig in the mail, become a member. Bigger is better for nature preserves. And in the first four months of 2018, Sycamore completed four […]

Fossil Fun

  • June 7, 2018

by Shayna Steingard, SPEA Communications Fellow This article originally appeared in the summer 2018 issue of The Twig, our 24-page member newsletter. To read more from this issue, click here. To become a member and receive The Twig in the mail, become a member. When you think about it, many of us spent our childhoods dreaming of growing up and […]

The Native Plant Project

  • June 7, 2018

By Abby Henkel, Communications Director, and Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director This article originally appeared in the summer 2018 issue of The Twig, our 24-page member newsletter. To read more from this issue, click here. To become a member and receive The Twig in the mail, become a member. “Life finds a way.” – Dr. Ian Malcolm, Jurassic Park Dr. […]

Tick season? No problem.

  • May 15, 2018

by Abby Henkel, Communications Director Anyone else feel like 2018 has gone from the Long Night (a la Game of Thrones) right into summer? Suddenly we’re basking in the heat of the summer sun, which I love, but along with that come ticks galore and poison ivy creeping along the forest path and up my […]

In Memory

  • April 24, 2018

Herbert “Herb” W. Hoover Herbert Wyle Hoover, a proud Hoosier, father, and Columbus, Indiana native, recently passed away on March 12, 2018 at age 59. Herb, as his friends and family called him, was a lifelong lover of nature and a passionate member of Sycamore Land Trust. His great work in conservation will always be […]

Hiking with Dogs

  • April 10, 2018

There’s nothing like enjoying the great outdoors with a good hike, and nothing makes it better than with our best friends — dogs. They appreciate the experience of meandering through the woods as much as us we do, but in order to make it safe and enjoyable for everyone, please be sure you keep our […]

Join Team Sycamore in the 2018 Climate Ride

  • March 12, 2018

by Tom Zeller, Sycamore member and former board member When embarking on the challenge of the Climate Ride in 2015, I knew it would be a challenge but also fun. Turns out I overestimated the challenges, both physical and fundraising, and waaay underestimated how much fun the ride would be. For one thing, Team Sycamore […]

Stewardship Update

  • February 27, 2018

By Chris Fox, Land Stewardship Manager This article originally appeared in the winter/spring 2018 issue of The Twig, our 24-page member newsletter. To read more from this issue, click here. To become a member and receive The Twig in the mail, become a member. What do we mean when we talk about land stewardship? Generally defined, it’s the conducting, supervising, […]

Ancient Trees

  • February 27, 2018

By Christian Freitag, Executive Director This article originally appeared in the winter/spring 2018 issue of The Twig, our 24-page member newsletter. To read more from this issue, click here. To become a member and receive The Twig in the mail, become a member. “Do not let what you can not do interfere with what you can do.” – Coach Wooden […]

Maple on the Menu

  • February 27, 2018

By Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director This article originally appeared in the winter/spring 2018 issue of The Twig, our 24-page member newsletter. To read more from this issue, click here. To become a member and receive The Twig in the mail, become a member. The sound of melting snow in the gutter of my home, the drip…drip…drip of icicles, the […]

Environmental Resilience

  • February 27, 2018

By Ann Connors, Development Director This article originally appeared in the winter/spring 2018 issue of The Twig, our 24-page member newsletter. To read more from this issue, click here. To become a member and receive The Twig in the mail, become a member. As part of its Grand Challenges Program, IU Bloomington recently launched the Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI) to […]

Monarchs’ Magnificent Migration

  • February 27, 2018

By Chris Fox, Land Stewardship Manager, and Abby Henkel, Communications Director This article originally appeared in the winter/spring 2018 issue of The Twig, our 24-page member newsletter. To read more from this issue, click here. To become a member and receive The Twig in the mail, become a member. Many Sycamore supporters are concerned about the collapse of bee populations […]

Black Environmentalists Who Inspire Us

  • February 26, 2018

by Keegan Fessenden, Spring Intern Our health is unquestionably linked to the health of our natural environment. Throughout America’s history, the health of the poorest minority communities has disproportionately been affected by pollution and the poisoning of our land. In honor of Black History Month, Sycamore would like to show its appreciation for the great […]

What is Environmental Justice?

  • February 26, 2018

by Keegan Fessenden, Spring Intern Environmental justice (EJ) “is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.” Historically, people of color in America have been disproportionately affected by environmental issues like landfill […]

Last-minute gift ideas for nature lovers

  • December 14, 2017

by Abby Henkel, Communications Director I love showering my family and friends with gifts, but to be honest, I haven’t finished all my shopping yet (I hope my mom isn’t reading this). If you’re like me, you want to get each person the perfect gift. And hopefully you’re lucky to be surrounded by people who […]

5 Reasons to Support Sycamore this December

  • December 4, 2017

by Abby Henkel, Communications Director and tree admirer We all have our own reasons for being a part of land conservation, but I’ve been thinking a lot about what would speak to people who are ready to make a difference, but don’t know where their donations will have the biggest bang for their buck. These […]

Saving Whooping Crane Habitat

  • October 26, 2017

By Lizzie Condon, Whooping Crane Outreach Coordinator for the International Crane Foundation This article originally appeared in the fall 2017 issue of The Twig, our 24-page member newsletter. To read more from this issue, click here. To become a member and receive The Twig in the mail, become a member. The story of the whooping cranes’ brush with extinction and […]

Thoughts from an armchair hiker

  • October 13, 2017

by John Scully, administrative volunteer This article originally appeared in the fall 2017 issue of The Twig, our 24-page member newsletter. To read more from this issue, click here. To become a member and receive The Twig in the mail, become a member. Hi. You probably don’t know me and I probably don’t know you, even though I may have […]

Nature’s Potential

  • October 5, 2017

By Shayna Steingard, SPEA Communications Fellow This article originally appeared in the fall 2017 issue of The Twig, our 24-page member newsletter. To read more from this issue, click here. To become a member and receive The Twig in the mail, become a member. The highest slots on my environmental bucket list are filled with goals to see oldgrowth forests […]

Philanthropy in the Classroom

  • October 5, 2017

By Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director This article originally appeared in the fall 2017 issue of The Twig, our 24-page member newsletter. To read more from this issue, click here. To become a member and receive The Twig in the mail, become a member. Not too long ago, I visited a school with a club that was raising money to […]

From the Assistant Director: More land, more responsibility

  • October 5, 2017

By John Lawrence, Assistant Director This article originally appeared in the fall 2017 issue of The Twig, our 24-page member newsletter. To read more from this issue, click here. To become a member and receive The Twig in the mail, become a member. It’s hard to believe how much Sycamore Land Trust has grown since I joined the staff eleven […]

Brilliant Fall Hues: Where they come from and where to see them

  • October 5, 2017

By Abby Henkel, Communications Director This article originally appeared in the fall 2017 issue of The Twig, our 24-page member newsletter. To read more from this issue, click here. To become a member and receive The Twig in the mail, become a member. Note: The print version of this article is especially beautiful, so I invite you to check it […]

The Peace of Wild Things

  • October 2, 2017

I woke up this morning, turned on NPR on my way to feed my dog and make coffee as usual, and was immediately stricken with news of the mass shooting in Las Vegas. Like all of us, my heart went out to the victims, survivors, and their families. And all the people who have experienced […]

Media Coverage

  • September 25, 2017

Below you’ll find a list of media coverage of Sycamore, including new preserves and trails, environmental education, events, wildlife, and more. If you are a member of the media looking for information, an interview, or photos, please contact Abby Henkel, Communications Director, at abby@sycamorelandtrust.org or 812-336-5382 ext. 101. For the latest updates on everything related to Sycamore […]

Planned Giving

  • September 25, 2017

Thank you for considering a planned gift! When you designate Sycamore Land Trust as a beneficiary in your will or estate plan, you create a living legacy that will help protect the beautiful and unique landscapes of southern Indiana for the enjoyment of future generations. To honor those who have made this special commitment, we […]

Recent Restoration Projects

  • September 25, 2017

https://sycamorelandtrust.org/twigsummer18-land-protection-update/ https://sycamorelandtrust.org/twigspring2018-ancient-trees/ https://sycamorelandtrust.org/twigspring2018-monarchs/ https://sycamorelandtrust.org/twigsummer18-stewardship/

Preserve Your Land

  • September 25, 2017

Perhaps no asset bears as heavily on one’s heart, wallet, or legacy as land. Sycamore Land Trust helps landowners ensure that their land will be managed according to their wishes long after they’re gone. We are always moved by the passion and generosity of landowners who choose to protect their land forever with Sycamore land […]

Dandelion Smoothie

  • August 17, 2017

By Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director One doesn’t need to take a woodland hike to forage. Wild edibles are everywhere. All through your lawn, the neighborhood park, and the cracks of your driveway. This winter I watched as my neighbor’s brother walked bent over through their yard with a small shovel. I could not see […]

Why we want you to join

  • August 15, 2017

Sycamore Land Trust is a membership-based organization, and there’s a really good reason for that. Land conservation takes the whole community — lots of communities — working together to protect something we all believe in. Each of us alone couldn’t protect thousands of acres forever, but if we each pitch in a little, we can […]

A Lifetime of Conservation

  • May 31, 2017

Saving Habitat with Lee Sterrenburg by Ann Connors, Development Director This article originally appeared in the summer 2017 issue of The Twig, our 24-page member newsletter. To read more from this issue, click here. To become a member and receive The Twig in the mail, donate online. One of the joys of working at Sycamore […]

Singing Off the Grid

  • May 31, 2017

An Interview with Malcolm Dalglish by Abby Perfetti, Communications Director This article originally appeared in the summer 2017 issue of The Twig, our 24-page member newsletter. To read more from this issue, click here. To become a member and receive The Twig in the mail, donate online. I’ve been a musician and choral singer since […]

Nature says “Thank You”

  • May 31, 2017

by Christian Freitag, Executive Director This article originally appeared in the summer 2017 issue of The Twig, our 24-page member newsletter. To read more from this issue, click here. To become a member and receive The Twig in the mail, donate online. One doesn’t work in conservation expecting attaboys. For every land project that works […]

Nature poetry to inspire you

  • May 30, 2017

by Abby Henkel Growing up in Indiana, it’s hard not to love nature. It’s all around us, and Hoosiers are working harder every day to protect what’s left and restore what’s been harmed. Some people love nature for the small, scientific details. Some love it for the grandeur of a beautiful vista. There’s nothing like […]

Springtime nectar sources for pollinators

  • May 1, 2017

This is a guest blog from Eco Logic, LLC. Thanks to Natalie Marinova, Mary Hallinan, and the other Eco Logic staff for sharing their expertise! Native bees, butterflies, moths, beetles, wasps, flies, hummingbirds, and bats are all part of the cycle of pollination. Understanding the many groups of animals involved in pollination brings into sharp […]

How buying a house could help Sycamore

  • April 17, 2017

One thing we love about being a homegrown Hoosier nonprofit is working with local businesses. We’re excited about a cool new partnership with Andrea Lutz Homes, and wanted to let our friends know about it! Andrea Lutz has been a member and volunteer since she moved to Bloomington from San Diego in 2001. She had […]

Sycamore Book Club: March Book Review of Ishmael

  • April 10, 2017

Sycamore Book Club Reads Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit by Daniel Quinn A Doomsayer in Ape’s Clothing Review by Connie Shakalis Hey, I thought a novel was supposed to comprise character development, description, and plot. Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit, by Daniel Quinn, discusses two characters, about whom we […]

Classy Not Trashy: Reducing Waste and Saving Land

  • March 20, 2017

by Shayna Steingard, Communications Fellow Americans produce enough waste each year to cover 1,000 acres of land 400 feet high with garbage. To bring that figure into focus, I did a little extracurricular math. In one year, the US creates enough waste to cover every single Sycamore property 44 times with one foot of trash. […]

Photographing southern Indiana with Gary Morrison

  • March 17, 2017

by Shayna Steingard, Communications Fellow There are those, the nature novices, who would check the weather on an app before thinking to take a peek out the window. Others, the casual observers, may notice that the flowers are blooming a little early this year, possibly even able to identify a few of those flowers. Then […]

Sycamore Book Club: February Book Review of Winter World

  • March 13, 2017

Sycamore Book Club Reads Winter World:The Ingenuity of Animal Survival  by Bernd Heinrich The Dead of Winter? Not in Winter World Review by Connie Shakalis I felt the ice under my skin and the grainy, coagulating mud in my nostrils as Bernd Heinrich describes how (air breathing) turtles live through winter in frozen ponds. Later, imagining […]

Celebrating Environmentalists for Women’s History Month

  • March 3, 2017

In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting some of the country’s most outstanding female leaders in the fields of conservation and environmental protection. I hope these influential people inspire you as much as they did for me while doing research for this post! -Abby Perfetti   Rachel Carson Carson’s pioneering book Silent Spring revealed the harm […]

26th Anniversary Annual Celebration a success

  • March 1, 2017

— This article was originally printed in the Winter/Spring 2017 issue of our newsletter, The Twig. See a PDF of the complete newsletter. — Thank you to all who came to our October 21 Annual Celebration “Wild Indiana: Past and Future.” The Monroe Convention Center was decked out, thanks to support from Markey’s Rental & Staging […]

Environmental Education Update

  • March 1, 2017

Native Plant Project gets funding from Duke Energy Foundation — This article was originally printed in the Winter/Spring 2017 issue of our newsletter, The Twig. See a PDF of the complete newsletter. — Sycamore recently received a grant from the Duke Energy Foundation for our Environmental Education program. At nearly $10,000, this grant will enable us […]

‘By George, It’s Science!’

  • March 1, 2017

Evansville science education program honors teacher’s father by Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director — This article was originally printed in the Winter/Spring 2017 issue of our newsletter, The Twig. See a PDF of the complete newsletter. — “Are we going outside today, Mr. Gibson?” “Can we play coyotes and rabbits again?” It was my second visit […]

Hiking for your health

  • March 1, 2017

Walking in nature has proven fitness benefits by Abby Perfetti, Communications Director — This article was originally printed in the Winter/Spring 2017 issue of our newsletter, The Twig. See a PDF of the complete newsletter. — Everyone knows that hiking and walking are good for you, but do you actually know why? What is it about […]

Introducing Shayna Steingard

  • March 1, 2017

— This article was originally printed in the Winter/Spring 2017 issue of our newsletter, The Twig. See a PDF of the complete newsletter. — I was raised in Phoenix, AZ, and attended the honors college at Arizona State University. I loved my science classes and sought out the courses that explored sustainability, the environment, and environmental justice. […]

A shared passion

  • March 1, 2017

— This article was originally printed in the Winter/Spring 2017 issue of our newsletter, The Twig. See a PDF of the complete newsletter. — Nature has been an integral part of my life since I was a child. The fields, brooks, and beaches of southern Connecticut were my playground, and inspire fond memories to this day. […]

How does local land conservation help us all?

  • March 1, 2017

— This article was originally printed in the Winter/Spring 2017 issue of our newsletter, The Twig. See a PDF of the complete newsletter. — Sycamore’s work to save and restore land is a team effort, and it takes everyone’s involvement. The more people from all backgrounds who join the movement, the stronger we can be. But […]

Preserving nature and memories

  • March 1, 2017

Peninsula on Lake Monroe becomes Sycamore’s newest nature preserve. by Abby Perfetti, Communications Director — This article was originally printed in the Winter/Spring 2017 issue of our newsletter, The Twig. See a PDF of the complete newsletter. — We have the great pleasure of protecting forever an exceptional new nature preserve, the Amy Weingartner Branigin Peninsula […]

Barbara Kingsolver changed my life

  • January 11, 2017

by Abby Perfetti, Communications Director One thing I love about being a part of Sycamore is learning all the different reasons why people get involved in conservation. Some folks really dig the science of it, others are deeply concerned about climate change, others feel a strong bond with nature, and some of us feel all […]

Frost Flowers

  • December 20, 2016

By Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director   Dear Frost Flower, Where have you been all my life?   This was my first thought when during the first week of December, Sycamore received photos and reports of frost flowers being present at the Laura Hare Nature Preserve at Downey Hill. And then I was reminded of […]

Gift ideas for lovers of nature

  • December 8, 2016

Shopping for an environmentalist, outdoorsy person, or gardener can be tough. Getting that perfect gift that they’ll use, that’s good for the planet, and that doesn’t cost a million bucks takes some savvy shopping. Sycamore staff members are here to help you out this holiday season. Check out these ideas and add your own in […]

How to make Spicebush Tea

  • November 28, 2016

by Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director Nature’s goodness comes in many forms: the sight of red leaves of the sumac, the smell of a walnut, the sound of a Carolina wren, the feel of pine duff under foot, and the taste of spicebush tea. Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is a woodland shrub native to the eastern […]

What it wants to be

  • November 3, 2016

By John Lawrence, Assistant Director — This article was originally printed in the Fall 2016 issue of our newsletter, The Twig. See a PDF of the complete newsletter. — Sycamore Land Trust has grown tremendously over the past few years as we have focused on buying land while continuing to work with landowners to either […]

Positive attitudes to nature form early

  • November 3, 2016

By Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director — This article was originally printed in the Fall 2016 issue of our newsletter, The Twig. See a PDF of the complete newsletter. — “Don’t go to Uncle Shane’s backyard! Bugs are back there!” These were the words my brother used to keep his two young children in my […]

Hoosier Hikers Council builds trails for Sycamore

  • November 3, 2016

By Abby Perfetti, Communications Director — This article was originally printed in the Fall 2016 issue of our newsletter, The Twig. See a PDF of the complete newsletter. — On a sweltering summer morning at the end of July, while the rest of us were soaking up all the air conditioning we could, three men […]

Important places merit special names

  • November 3, 2016

By Ann Connors, Development Director — This article was originally printed in the Fall 2016 issue of our newsletter, The Twig. See a PDF of the complete newsletter. — One thing is clear when you get involved with Sycamore Land Trust—we are all in this together. Sycamore’s ability to protect the unique and valuable landscapes […]

My pledge: To match the dedication of volunteers and staff

  • November 3, 2016

By Abby Perfetti, Communications Director — This article was originally printed in the Fall 2016 issue of our newsletter, The Twig. See a PDF of the complete newsletter. — I’ve been on the staff at Sycamore Land Trust only since June, but I already feel at home. Indiana is my home—I was raised in Indianapolis, […]

Protecting land is a family effort

  • November 3, 2016

By Gary Chambers Gary Chambers is a mechanic, and a retired farmer and Cummins Engine employee. He is a Sycamore member whose family donated a conservation easement on their farm in Bartholomew County. Gary sat down with our staff at his family farm, where he told us this moving story about why he chose to […]

How to make your backyard into a friendly habitat for wildlife

  • November 2, 2016

One of the coolest things about nature is that it thrives if you show it even a little love. Nature is resilient. It’s true that plants and animals need big spaces like nature preserves and state parks to keep their populations healthy, but even small green spaces can make a difference by providing more places […]

Exploring and saving southern Indiana with Steven Higgs

  • July 22, 2016

by Joe Knight, Sycamore Communications Intern Unbeknownst to all, gnomes actually walk among us. As James A. Thom notes in the forward of the new IU Press book, A Guide to Natural Areas of Southern Indiana: 119 Unique Places to Explore, gnomes are beings tasked with the sacred duty of safeguarding the treasures of the Earth and […]

April Volunteer Spotlight: John Scully and Scott Loman

  • April 26, 2016

Our staff is grateful for our two weekly administrative volunteers, John Scully and Scott Loman (in addition to our amazing volunteer intern, Kuo-Chun Ku!). John recently retired from his position as Senior Assistant Registrar at IU and Scott recently retired from his librarian position with the Johnson County Public Library. We have lots of fun […]

Why did the skunk cross the road?

  • March 2, 2016

By Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director I often think of lyrics by singer-songwriter Louden Wainwright III during winter warm-ups like we’ve been having lately: Crossing the highway late last night He shoulda looked left he shoulda looked right He didn’t see the station wagon car The skunk got squashed and there you are During one […]

Weaving a web of learning: IU and elementary school partnership

  • February 10, 2016

This excerpt is from our Winter 2016 newsletter, “The Twig.” Click the cover to view the full issue. By Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director In a web of life activity, the participants use string to create a literal web, connecting different elements of the natural world. With each tug or release of tension on twine, […]

Hike a bit of history: New (old) trail opens at Trevlac Bluffs Nature Preserve

  • February 10, 2016

This excerpt is from “The Twig,” our donor newsletter. Click the cover to view the full issue. By John Lawrence, Assistant Director and Katrina Folsom, Communications Director For years people have been asking us whether they can visit Trevlac Bluffs Nature Preserve. It’s easy to see why: the steep bluff protects a rare stand of […]

Hiking past the “good stuff”: New volunteer-built trail to open in Brown County

  • February 10, 2016

This excerpt is from The Twig, our donor newsletter. Click the cover to view the full issue. By Joan ten Hoor Have you ever seen a glacial erratic? It’s a rock, often boulder-size, that was transported from far north by a glacier and then left behind after the glacier melted away. Also called dropstones, they […]

Backyard sugarin’: the basics of making maple syrup at home

  • February 2, 2016

By Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director Freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw. This is the weather that a maple syrup maker is waiting for. With night time temperatures below freezing and daytime temperatures above 32 degrees, the sap or sugar water in the trees starts to flow. In Indiana, this usually occurs from mid-February to mid-March. A […]

Like hiking? Try the Bicentennial Hikers Challenge

  • February 1, 2016

Remember a while back when you received one of these?         At the time, 2016 felt like a long way off. But to Sycamore Land Trust, it was time to get busy (well, even busier!). That’s because the Bicentennial Nature Trust (BNT) debuted in 2012 with $30 million in matching funds available for […]

Eagle Scout candidate engineers a solution to illegal dumping at Eagle Slough

  • January 27, 2016

After having to close the gate to the parking lot at Eagle Slough Natural Area in Evansville last summer due to repeated illegal dumping, we were able to re-open the gate in November 2015 thanks to Eagle Scout candidate Forrest Wade. Forrest designed and installed signage and a security system at Eagle Slough in hopes […]

January Volunteer Spotlight: Kuo-Chun Ku

  • January 27, 2016

Kuo-Chun Ku came to Sycamore Land Trust last November eager to volunteer his skills for our organization. His internship puts his varied experience to work, providing each program director with invaluable support. In Kuo-Chun’s own words: “I am really glad to have this wonderful opportunity to volunteer in Sycamore Land Trust to learn and serve. […]

Sowing seeds in winter…crazy? Nope!

  • January 13, 2016

By Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director Few folks are thinking of planting seeds in early January when the temperature is 3 degrees Fahrenheit. But winter is a perfect time to get started. Last summer, I wrote an article titled “Get Your Own Dang Weed Field.” This weed field was sown last winter with Indiana native […]

Top 10 Photos of 2015

  • December 17, 2015

It’s hard to believe the year is already nearing a close. Enjoy or re-enjoy the 10 most “liked” photos from our Facebook page this year! #10                                 #9 (originally posted by Monroe Lake)               […]

Mending fences, pruning trees, and more—first 3 Preserve-a-Preserve Days

  • December 15, 2015

December Volunteer Spotlight: Preserve-a-Preserve Day Volunteers (see photo album) Our 2015 monthly Preserve-a-Preserve Days have had strong turnout and we are very grateful to all the volunteers who have made the inaugural year a success! Together, we mended fences, removed invasive plants, pruned trees, removed litter and other trash, and even cleared a new loop […]

Signs of the Season: How to make pine needle tea

  • December 14, 2015

By Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director Foraging for wild edibles is one of the few ways I have been able to get my youngest son to eat greens. We enjoy nibbling on violets and dandelions. We’ll make sumac lemonade and spicebush tea. But our family favorite is making pine needle tea. There is something novel […]

  • environmental education,
  • wild edibles,
Read More

“It was a treat” say friends about honoring their friend and fellow Sycamore supporter

  • November 23, 2015

John Gallman and Scott Russell Sanders are two of the most humble people you’ll ever meet. Scott and his wife Ruth honored John with a bench in his name at Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve, and yet the first thing each of them wanted to share is that the other one deserves recognition! “I’m very honored […]

  • Beanblossom Bottoms,
  • volunteers,
Read More

Singing in the woods

  • November 20, 2015

The peaceful woods behind Cedar Crest, our headquarters, are an idyllic setting for this rendition of “Traveler’s Prayer” by Bloomington vocal ensemble Kaia. Thanks to Jim Krause and his students for producing this video, and to Kaia members for volunteering their time and passion!  

November Volunteer Spotlight: A “nature lover” from China devotes herself to protecting our earth

  • November 17, 2015

By Jie Yan I am from northern China. My hometown Langfang is a small city in Hebei Province, only a 45 minute drive to Beijing. When I was still in China, I noticed that as one of the rapidly developing countries, China was facing many pressing issues, such as environmental pollution, domestic violence, and child […]

One vibrant wetland, coming right up

  • November 6, 2015

Where there was once a scruffy field at the Powell Preserve, you’ll soon see a wetland. We’re excited to watch it grow! Protecting and restoring wetlands is one of Sycamore’s priorities because of the immense value this ecosystem provides: habitat for a diversity of plants and animals, flood control, water quality improvement, and beauty. So […]

  • Eco Logic,
  • Powell Preserve,
  • restoration,
  • wetland,
Read More

Volunteers of the Year reflect on Climate Ride

  • October 28, 2015

During our 25th Anniversary Annual Celebration, the Volunteer of the Year award was given collectively to Sycamore’s 13 representatives in the Midwest Climate Ride: Pete Batule Malcolm Dalglish DeeDee Dayhoff Doug Dayhoff Jennifer Hottell Jeff Mease Robert Meitus Andrea Oeding Marcia Veldman Jeff White Legene White Sheryl Woodhouse Keese Tom Zeller These adventurous cyclists rode 300 miles […]

  • Climate Ride,
  • Team Sycamore,
  • volunteers,
Read More

Extending the Porter West Preserve trail

  • October 27, 2015

On Thursday, October 15, a group of thirteen enthusiastic volunteers spent a perfect autumn morning together improving Sycamore’s Porter West Preserve. We cleared debris and invasive plants, while also forging a new trail to complete a second loop. We took a short break to enjoy lunch together and then continued our work under the blue […]

  • Porter West,
  • preserve a preserve day,
  • volunteer,
Read More

Why are bats associated with Halloween?

  • October 27, 2015

Signs of the Season By Tara Thomson With the spookiest of all holidays right around the corner, have you ever wondered how certain animals became associated with Halloween? Why do kids not dress up as snails or slugs or other bugs? Why is it that bats are the creepy representatives of this holiday? The connection […]

Just $6.71 for a lifetime love of nature and literature

  • October 13, 2015

My earliest memories of literature were sitting on my father’s lap while he read me a story prior to leaving for his third-shift factory job. My earliest memories of nature happened around the same time. They were both prominent. But they were not connected. There was a void between my love for literature and love […]

“Who’s been here?” How one book changed my inquiry process

  • October 7, 2015

By Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director “Dad, who’s been here?” Sawyer asks as he holds up a small limb that is almost yellow and bright compared to its surroundings. We examine closer and see bark still attached and distinct patterns left by the animal’s incisors. Other clues help tell the story. We are on a […]

Your three-question guide to Aldo Leopold

  • September 28, 2015

If you’re not familiar with the legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold, he’s definitely someone worth knowing about. His concept of a “land ethic” laid the groundwork for the modern environmental movement—including the work of land trusts like Sycamore! Here, Curt Meine—who literally wrote the book on Aldo Leopold and will be giving the keynote presentation at […]

Our birds are in good hands

  • September 25, 2015

September Volunteer Spotlight Joshua Siedl is enrolled in the Community Transitions program at Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC). Students 18-22 who need to continue gaining functional skills (and wish to do so outside of the traditional school setting) have an opportunity to volunteer at local area businesses and non-profits to gain real-life experience as […]

Looking spiffy after the first Preserve a Preserve Day

  • September 24, 2015

Last week was the kick-off for our new Third Thursday volunteer workday series. Volunteers helped repair the fence around Cedar Crest, our headquarters, and tackled invasive plants. Thanks for all your hard work! Photos by Jaime Sweany. Join us for the next Preserve a Preserve Day!                   […]

Introducing our new Development Director, Ann Connors!

  • September 22, 2015

Please join us in welcoming Ann Connors as Sycamore’s new Development Director! Ann grew up in Bloomington, then lived and worked in New York, Europe, West Africa, and Chicago. She moved back to Bloomington in the summer of 2014 as Senior Development Officer for Panthera, a NY-based conservation organization that works to protect the big […]

Hummingbirds fueling up for perilous journey—and how you can help

  • September 15, 2015

Backyard Birding By Cathy Meyer, Sycamore member and naturalist with Monroe County Parks and Recreation A walk in a moist woodland or shady wetland in the fall will usually be brightened by the presence of jewelweed, lovely orange or yellow pendant flowers related to our garden impatiens. These flowers are favorite nectar sources of the […]

  • Birding,
  • hummingbirds,
Read More

A new bridge at Trevlac Bluffs, thanks to an Eagle Scout

  • August 27, 2015

Ready to start his Eagle Scout project, Alexander Like approached our Assistant Director, John Lawrence, about any needs at Sycamore’s preserves. Trevlac Bluffs Nature Preserve could use a new footbridge, we suggested. So Alexander met with John and an engineer to design and draw plans for a bridge! Over the summer, Alexander secured the lumber […]

“Get your own dang weed field”

  • August 21, 2015

Signs of the Season: Late Summer Wildflowers By Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director Walking through my garden, enjoying the late summer flowers, I was reminded of a poem that I wrote some 15 years ago titled Where Wildflowers Grow. Where wildflowers grow Bloodroots know Spring is upon us Where wildflowers grow Seedheads in snow Paint […]

What is an Oak Apple?

  • August 11, 2015

Very few things in the woods interest me as much as the oak apple. You may be thinking that oak trees produce acorns, not apples. That is true. But oak apples do exist and I for one love to find them. A colleague said that children would love the oak apple magic trick. On a […]

Your new favorite hiking spot? Trevlac Bluffs Nature Preserve

  • July 20, 2015

For years, people have been asking us whether they can visit Trevlac Bluffs Nature Preserve. It’s easy to see why: the steep bluff protects a rare stand of native eastern hemlock trees, and beautiful Beanblossom Creek flows through the preserve for 1.7 miles. Yet there was no safe access to the preserve or a trail […]

All you need is love—of the outdoors and community!

  • July 8, 2015

By Lauren Harling, Sycamore Branches Committee Member Being a twenty- or thirty-something age person in Bloomington, IN is great fun. There are many opportunities to experience all kinds of people and activities on a regular basis. But if you’re like me, it has been a bit of challenge to find an awesome group of like-minded […]

Why is this red fox black? Fascinating sighting

  • July 8, 2015

By Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director A fox is a cunning critter. I have lived in rural Monroe County for three years and have lost chickens each spring to a fox. I have never seen the fox near the chicken coop. But I’m sure it is a fox. I’ve only seen it one time in […]

  • environmental education,
  • wildlife,
Read More

The upsides of summer birding

  • June 29, 2015

Guest post by Chris Newman of Evansville, IN Migration is over and summer upon us. Birds have nested, some even had multiple broods. Many also begin to molt, acquiring fresh new feathers for their eventual flight to winter homes. Foliage is full and dense and the humidity rises. Summer birding can seem daunting, causing some […]

  • Birding,
  • Eagle Slough,
  • summer,
Read More