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Check out what’s new at Sycamore!  Click here to read recent media coverage about Sycamore’s work.  For inquiries from members of the press, please contact Kate Hammel, Communications & Membership Director, at kate@sycamorelandtrust.org or 812-336-5382 ext 101.

Latest News

A Conversation with Allisyn-Marie Gillet: “It Takes a Village to Raise a Chick”

  • August 8, 2022

Join us at 7pm on Thursday, September 1, 2022, for a “It Takes a Village to Raise a Chick,” a virtual lecture and Q&A with Allisyn-Marie Gillet, Ornithologist at Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Indiana DNR monitors and manages more than 50 at-risk bird species, each facing their own unique suite of threats. Alli will […]

Conservation Connection Field Day 2022 Beanblossom Creek

  • August 8, 2022

Sycamore is partnering with Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and local landowners to host a conservation field event for landowners. Participants will visit various non-public properties to learn more about forest stand improvement, invasive plant control, wetland restoration, and tree and shrub planting.

Wildlife Photos from Skylar’s World Forest by Toby Cheeseman

  • August 1, 2022

Twenty-three acres of native trees were planted this spring to create Skylar’s World Forest at our Dan Efroymson Preserve. Toby Cheeseman lives next door and his beautiful backyard photography has been documenting the bald eagles and other wildlife who rely on this protected habitat. Below are just a few of Toby’s photos of the animals […]

“BioBlitz” with Indiana Academy of Sciences at Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve

  • June 11, 2022

Our “BioBlitz” at Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve in partnership with Indiana Academy of Science was a great success, highlighting the remarkable biodiversity at this wetland preserve and the importance of Indiana’s remaining wetland habitat. More than 70 scientists joined Sycamore on June 4 and 5, splitting into 13 taxonomic teams for an intensive field study focused […]

Free Sycamore Land Trust Nature Coloring Books

  • June 11, 2022

New: “Wetlands of Southern Indiana” Coloring Book   Click here to download our free, printable “Wetlands of Southern Indiana” coloring book, featuring 20 species of plants and animals that depend on the wetland habitat protected by Sycamore Land Trust. Beautiful artwork by Mary Connors, B.S. K-12 Education, M.A. Art Education, includes American bittern, baldcypress, Kirtland’s […]

Conservation Conversation: Carroll Ritter, author of Magnificent Trees of Indiana

  • June 10, 2022

On June 23, 2022 at 7pm, Carroll D. Ritter will join our Conservation Conversation virtual lecture series to discuss his new book Magnificent Trees of Indiana and how it can be an inspiration to appreciate our grand forest heritage. Featuring the fascinating history of Indiana’s trees, remaining old-growth forest pieces and the state champions, along […]

Wetland Birding Walk at Beanblossom Bottoms: May 1

  • April 12, 2022

Join guest hike leader Cathy Meyer for a wetland birding adventure along the boardwalk and other trails at Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve. RSVP here.

“The Balancer”: A Snapshot of Local Conservation in the 1960s

  • April 12, 2022

Three issues of the local conservation newspaper The Balancer were shared with us by Barbara Restle, who donated the first parcel of land to Sycamore Land Trust that would become our Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve.  The Balancer was produced in the mid-1960’s when she was one of the five Soil and Water Conservation Supervisors for […]

Arbor Day Tree Giveaway at Bloomingfoods

  • April 11, 2022

This year marks the 150th anniversary of National Arbor Day.  As a proud member of the Alliance for Community Trees, an Arbor Tree Foundation program, Sycamore Land Trust will celebrate by expanding our annual “Arbor Day Tree Giveaway” to distribute more than 800 native tree saplings for free in southern Indiana. On Saturday, April 30, […]

Round Up With Bloomingfoods Positive Change Program

  • April 5, 2022

During the month of April, support Sycamore Land Trust by rounding up your purchase at Bloomingfoods in Bloomington through the Positive Change Program. Learn more at bloomingfoods.coop/positive-change.

Preserve-a-Preserve Third Thursday: Earth Day Edition

  • March 25, 2022

Celebrate Earth Day by helping Sycamore Land Trust preserve the land in our care! Join us for a special Earth Day edition of our “Preserve-a-Preserve Third Thursday” volunteer workdays to pull invasive garlic mustard on Thursday, April 21, 2022, at Amy Weingartner Branigin Peninsula Preserve. Sycamore’s “Preserve-a-Preserve Third Thursday” workdays are an opportunity to get […]

87 Bird Species Identified at Sam Shine Foundation Preserve

  • March 19, 2022

A summary by Matthias Benko Matthias, a student at Indiana University, did some walking bird surveys at Sycamore’s Sam Shine Foundation Preserve in our Beanblossom Creek Conservation Area. “He didn’t start until May, so 87 species is really good,” said Chis Fox, Sycamore’s Land Stewardship Director. “Considering we missed most of the spring migration which […]

Mussels on Sycamore’s Preserves

  • March 18, 2022

By Cassie Hauswald, Indiana Freshwater Ecologist at The Nature Conservancy in Indiana While monitoring a remote property in Green County, Sycamore Land Trust’s Land Stewardship Director Chris Fox found two species of mussel shells on a hike through Clifty Creek. Mussels have a fascinating and odd life cycle and are very important to the health […]

The future of Callery (Bradford) pear and our environment

  • February 21, 2022

By Gillian Field, member of Sycamore Land Trust, Indiana Native Plant Society, and MC-IRIS You might recognize a Callery pear tree (Pryus calleryana) if I describe it as pretty tree with white flowers that blooms in early spring and looks like a lollipop. As neat, tidy and charming as it looks, it is an invasive […]

“Dam It: How Beavers Can Save the Planet,” A Conversation with Ben Goldfarb

  • February 10, 2022

On March 10, Sycamore Land Trust’s Land Stewardship team hosted a virtual lecture with environmental journalist Ben Goldfarb, author of Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter.  A recording of the lecture is now available to watch at sycamorelandtrust.org/conversations. In Eager: The Suprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter, Ben […]

“Nature’s Best Hope,” a Conversation with Doug Tallamy

  • January 11, 2022

 Join Sycamore Land Trust for a conversation with Doug Tallamy, entomologist and author of Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard. In this virtual Zoom lecture and Q&A, Doug Tallamy discusses simple steps that each of us can take to reverse declining biodiversity and will explain why we, […]

“Leave No Trace” Hike at Touch the Earth Natural Area

  • January 4, 2022

Space is limited, register here!

Collecting Native Seeds at Sycamore’s Preserves

  • December 30, 2021

Sycamore has been collecting seeds from native plants like milkweed and ironweed at Sycamore preserves this fall with the help of Indiana Native Seed Communities, a group that promotes growing with locally-sourced seeds to produce hardy plants adapted to our region. These seeds will be grown in a dedicated greenhouse and the plants will be […]

Beanblossom Creek Wildlife Camera Project

  • November 28, 2021

A new window into the world of southern Indiana wildlife, our 2021 Wildlife Camera Project has released 20 minutes of wildlife footage captured on our nature preserves surrounding Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve in Monroe County. Sycamore wants to get to know the animals that live on the land we protect. This summer, we set up […]

  • Beanblossom Bottoms,
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Sycamore’s New Education Director, Mary Welz

  • November 2, 2021

Welcome Mary Welz, Sycamore’s new Education Director! Mary has joined Team Sycamore to lead our Environmental Education program, which offers free nature education for all ages. “My happiest early memories are of the outdoors, splashing in creeks and adventuring along wooded trails. I have always identified as a student of nature and strive to be […]

Trailhead Improvement Planned for Beanblossom Bottoms Funded by Duke Energy Foundation

  • October 29, 2021

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 […]

Welcome Madeleine Thompson, our new Communications & Development Fellow

  • September 28, 2021

Welcome Madeleine Thompson, our new Communications and Development Fellow, who joins us as part of the O’Neill Service Corps Program. The O’Neill Service Corps is a program of the Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, which leverages Federal Work Study funds to provide graduate students the opportunity to contribute […]

Streambed Restoration and Closure at Powell Preserve

  • September 13, 2021

Powell Preserve has been temporarily closed due to damage to the parking area caused by erosion. This closure will last approximately one year to facilitate the streambank restoration process and protect public safety. The project will be partially funded by a generous grant from the LARE program to keep the preserve open to the public […]

2021 Annual Celebration: “Taking Care”

  • August 23, 2021

Join us for a virtual celebration of habitat restoration in southern Indiana.  Once land is owned by Sycamore, we begin the important work of protecting it through consistent, capable stewardship. This 45-minute video celebration takes a closer look at our land stewardship and habitat restoration projects to take care of the land entrusted to us […]

Kids’ Nature Discovery Art Contest

  • August 18, 2021

Sycamore invites all young artists and nature lovers to submit their artwork for our Kids’ Nature Discovery Art Contest!  Create a picture of something you can discover in nature and submit it by October 3, 2021, for a chance to be featured in our beautiful 2022 Kid’s Nature Discovery Calendar.  This new, limited-edition calendar will […]

Our Vital Wetlands

  • August 18, 2021

By Kate Hammel, Communications & Membership Director Spring flowers surround the wooden boardwalk in the bottomland forest habitat at Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve. Chris Fox Each spring, as the winter world wakes up with the warming soil, the chorus of frogs at Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve begins. Soon you can hear them long before you […]

Wetland Plant Identification Hike: Sedges of Beanblossom Bottoms

  • August 18, 2021

Take a virtual hike with Executive Director John Lawrence and Dr. Paul Rothrock, biologist and author of Sedges of Indiana, to explore Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve and learn about the vibrant plant community at this important wetland habitat. Over 200 plant species have been recorded at Beanblossom Bottoms. On this hike, we discover a new […]

On the Banks of the Beanblossom

  • August 17, 2021

Sycamore’s Enduring Protection of a Critical Ecological Corridor By Ellen Bergan, Land Stewardship Assistant The creek beckons as Chris Fox, Land Stewardship Director, and I trudge through the sodden cornfield at Fix-Stoelting Preserve. Breaking through the brush at the field’s edge, it’s only a few more steps past blooming ephemerals and spicebush until we’re standing […]

Our Wetland Community

  • August 17, 2021

By Chris Fox, Land Stewardship Director Throughout this issue of The Twig, we have highlighted several species, both common and rare, that depend on wetlands. I have been fortunate to witness many of these species on our preserves as I go about my land stewardship duties. I have been face-to-face with a beaver as I […]

Wetland Restoration

  • August 17, 2021

Sycamore begins ambitious projects along Beanblossom Creek By Rob McCrea, Land Preservation Director Farmland at Sam Shine Foundation Preserve, the future site of a wetland restoration project. Sycamore Land Trust has exciting news for wetlands in the Beanblossom Creek Bicentennial Conservation Area. This summer, Sycamore will be starting work on two major habitat restoration projects […]

Skylar’s World Forest

  • August 17, 2021

By Ann Connors, Development Director Skylar (in pink pants) and her family gather at the dedication ceremony for the future 20-acre Skylar’s World Forest to be planted along Beanblossom Creek. Last December, on a cool and sunny afternoon along Beanblossom Creek in northern Monroe County, an extended family came together at a former farm field […]

“Keep renewing, Mother Nature.”

  • July 23, 2021

Thanks to a grant from Bartholomew County REMC, Sycamore staff have designed trailhead signage to highlight what makes Touch the Earth such a special place. New educational signage at Touch the Earth Natural Area focuses on the preserve’s unique successional forest habitat as former farmland reverts back to forest. 25 years ago, on August 12, […]

Request a Nature Preserve Guide

  • July 15, 2021

Interested in learning more about hiking trails in southern Indiana?  Our beautiful 2021 Nature Preserve Guide includes hiking maps and information about Sycamore Land Trust’s public nature preserves.  We’d love to send you a copy!  Just fill out the form below.  Copies are also available at the Bloomington Visitors Center at 2855 N. Walnut Street, […]

Phenology Trail at Touch the Earth Natural Area

  • July 4, 2021

Phenology is the study of nature’s calendar and tells us how weather and seasons play a role in the life cycles of plants and animals. Sycamore Land Trust’s Touch The Earth Natural Area is now a Phenology Trail, where visitors can use a citizen science method to observe and collect native plant, animal, and insect […]

Thank You “Sponsor a Preserve” 2021 Sponsors

  • June 20, 2021

Sycamore Land Trust is grateful to the generous sponsors of our “Sponsor a Preserve” Summer 2021 Campaign. These passionate, dedicated supporters and lovers of nature have committed to help us continue our important stewardship work this summer by sponsoring their favorite nature preserve. Caring for nature preserves takes dedication and hard work but the rewards […]

Midwestoration Podcast: Beanblossom Bottoms with Chris Fox and Rob McCrea

  • June 8, 2021

On a perfect, sunny day, the Midwestoration Podcast met our land stewardship team at Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve to discuss what is so special about this bottomland hardwood forest habitat and Sycamore’s ongoing efforts to preserve and restore wetlands and other important ecological areas in the Beanblossom Creek watershed. One of the first pieces of […]

  • Beanblossom Bottoms,
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The Cedars Preserve is Closed to Public Access

  • May 27, 2021

Sycamore Land Trust has closed The Cedars Preserve to public access beginning May 25, 2021. This nature preserve has experienced a significant increase in visitation over the past year and sensitive natural areas have been adversely impacted by the increased number of hikers. Sycamore has decided to close the preserve to allow the land time […]

Arbor Day 2021 Native Tree Seedling Giveaway sponsored by IU Health

  • April 26, 2021

Help wildlife and beautify your yard with a native tree seedling! To celebrate Arbor Day 2021, Sycamore Land Trust and our generous sponsor IU Health will provide free native tree seedlings on Saturday, May 1, 2021, at Bloomingfoods East (3220 E 3rd St.) and Bloomingfoods Near West (316 W 6th St.) starting a 10am while […]

Protected Forever

Big News! 56 Acres Acquired Adjacent to the Laura Hare Nature Preserve at Downey Hill

  • March 26, 2021

Sycamore Land Trust is excited to announce the addition of 56 acres of protected land to the Laura Hare Nature Preserve at Downey Hill, thanks to the generous support of the Laura Hare Charitable Trust and Sycamore members. “This property was available for sale on the open market,” explains Rob McCrea, Sycamore’s Land Preservation Director. […]

  • acquisitions,
  • Laura Hare Nature Preserve at Downey Hill,
  • Preserves,
  • wildlife,
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Creating Habitat to Study and Protect Endangered Species

  • March 25, 2021

How can we create habitat that supports the Kirtland’s snake, Crawfish frog, and other endangered species at our preserves? At the Sam Shine Foundation Preserve and other properties in our priority Beanblossom Creek Bicentennial Conservation Area, we are hard at work to restore wetland and other important wildlife habitats. We have partnered with the Indiana […]

Wake Up, Woods cover

Wake Up, Woods! Spring Ephemerals Emerge on our Preserves

  • March 25, 2021

Spring ephemerals — wildflowers that bloom in early spring for only a short time, provide an important source of food for pollinators, and rely on ants to disperse their seeds — are emerging now on our preserves as life on the forest floor awakens from its winter sleep. You can learn more about what to […]

Bluebird Houses for Habitat Restoration at Sam Shine Foundation Preserve

  • March 23, 2021

Our bluebird houses are ready for installation at Sam Shine Foundation Preserve! Built by our Land Stewardship Manager Chris Fox, these boxes will help us monitor breeding success of cavity nesting birds and test a few designs recommended by the North American Bluebird Society to see which is the most successful on our preserves. Sycamore’s […]

Virtual Hike with John

Virtual Hike: Beanblossom Bottoms After Flooding

  • March 5, 2021

 Join Executive Director John Lawrence on this virtual hike of Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve after recent flooding. Find out where to spot the bald eagles’ nest, get serenaded by chorus frogs and spring peepers just emerged from their winter rest, hear red-shouldered hawks give each other the “what for,” identify tracks on the boardwalk, […]

Ellen Bergen Building Trails

To Build a Trail: Routing, Building, Maintaining, and Sustaining our Public Trails

  • March 5, 2021

By Ellen Bergan, Land Stewardship Assistant   From our Winter-Spring 2021 issue of  The Twig, “The Trails Issue”: On the day of Sycamore’s 30th birthday celebration this past November, I ventured to our Trevlac Bluffs Nature Preserve in Brown County. As I followed the preserve’s upper Yellowwood Trail through its mixed hardwood forest and along […]

Brian Besser

Sanctuaries in Southern Indiana: A Faith-Based View of Sycamore’s Work

  • March 5, 2021

By Rabbi Brian Besser   From our Winter-Spring 2021 issue of  The Twig, “The Trails Issue”: Nature is my oldest, deepest source of spiritual renewal. I fell in love with hiking in the Green Mountains of Vermont, where I spent all my childhood summers. In 1988, I trekked 2600 miles from Mexico to Canada on […]

Heth-Washington Woodland Restoration

Bridging Nature and the Classroom: A Woodland Restoration Project at Heth-Washington Elementary

  • March 5, 2021

By Shane Gibson, Environmental Educational Director   From our Winter-Spring 2021 issue of  The Twig, “The Trails Issue”: “Don’t go to the woods! There are snakes in there!” These words were often uttered by teachers at Heth-Washington Elementary in Harrison County when I first met with Principal Nissa Ellett in 2017. The two acres of […]

Maple Tapping at Cedars Christian School

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

  • February 25, 2021

By Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director   In January 2021, Sycamore’s Environmental Education Program visited Cedars Christian School to teach the basics of tapping maple trees and practice on school property.  The school purchased every student a stile to continue their outdoor learning at home with their families. Freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw. This is the […]

Untidy Gardens Make Good Winter Wildlife Habitat

  • February 20, 2021

By Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director   Passers-by may look at the prairie I planted, the ditch in front of my house, and the flowerbeds and wonder why I didn’t tidy up those areas this fall. There was a reason for leaving the stems and seed heads.  A quick view out of my windows provides the evidence. […]

Native Prairie Planting at Amy Weingartner Branigin Peninsula Preserve

  • February 1, 2021

Feeling ready for spring wildflowers? Sycamore Land Trust’s new prairie planting at Amy Weingartner Branigin Peninsula Preserve is too! Last month, with the help of Eco Logic LLC, Sycamore planted native wildflower and grass seeds to work into the soil during the freeze and thaw cycles over the remaining winter months. These wildflower and grass […]

Creekside Trail building

The New Creekside Trail at
Trevlac Bluffs Nature Preserve

  • January 31, 2021

The new creekside trail at Trevlac Bluffs Nature Preserve, which we began last year before the pandemic hit, is nearly complete after some hard work by our Land Stewardship team (and a break to climb a sycamore tree to get to a better view!) Ellen Bergan, our Land Stewardship Assistant, finding a happy place. The […]

Kate Hammel

Hello from our new
Communications & Membership Director!

  • January 30, 2021

Kate Hammel, Membership & Communications Director Hello Sycamore friends, I am so touched by the warm welcome I have received in my first two weeks as the newest addition to Team Sycamore. As an enthusiastic Sycamore member that spends many happy hours out on the trails, I am passionate about open space preservation and grateful […]

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at Touch the Earth

Touch the Earth Natural Area Ribbon Cutting

  • January 27, 2021

 Sycamore Land Trust’s staff, supporters, and community members gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony on January 27, 2021, to celebrate the completion of new improvements at the beloved Touch the Earth Natural Area in Bartholomew County, including expanding and enhancing the new parking area to accommodate eight cars and building a new educational kiosk […]

  • Preserves,
  • Team Sycamore,
  • Touch the Earth Natural Area,
  • video,
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Eva Lapp

A Farewell from Eva Lapp,
Communications & Membership Fellow

  • January 15, 2021

Last month Sycamore Land Trust said goodbye to Eva Lapp, Communication & Membership Fellow.  Eva had a wonderful impact at Sycamore in her time here as our O’Neill graduate fellow. “I am grateful for the many things I have learned in my brief time at Sycamore Land Trust. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, Sycamore […]

Extend Your Outdoor Hobby Into the New Year

  • December 18, 2020

by Lauren Dexter-Burns, guest contributor and Sycamore member Have you hit the trails more than usual this year? You’re not alone. Sycamore staff and volunteers have seen that visitation to our public nature preserves has increased significantly during the pandemic. Trail managers throughout Indiana and across the country are experiencing a surge in activity, with […]

Grass I.D. Gone a-Rye

  • November 10, 2020

by Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director Header photo: Japanese stiltgrass at Sycamore’s Latimer Preserve in 2010 Prior to my work at Sycamore Land Trust, I worked for Eco Logic LLC, a native plant restoration company based out of Bloomington, Indiana. At Eco Logic, I worked alongside some of the best botanists I’ve ever met, and […]

A Farewell from Abby Henkel

  • October 27, 2020

Dear Sycamore friends, I can’t believe it, but my last day as the Communications Director for Sycamore Land Trust is here. Next Monday, I’ll be starting a new position as the Development Manager for the Environmental Resilience Institute at Indiana University. I’m excited to help this amazing team of experts address climate change in Indiana […]

Tree Identification Basics

  • October 22, 2020

by Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director This article originally appeared in the fall 2020 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see a PDF of the print version, more articles, and past issues, click here. Tree identification can be made simple. That doesn’t mean you will determine the exact species 100% of the time, but […]

From the Field: Holding on to Hope

  • October 22, 2020

by Chris Fox, Land Stewardship Manager This article originally appeared in the fall 2020 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see a PDF of the print version, more articles, and past issues, click here. Photo of Chris Fox by Robert Stoffer. This past winter the stewardship staff spent many hours creating a plan for […]

Lessons from Sycamore’s History

  • October 22, 2020

by Abby Henkel, Communications Director This article originally appeared in the fall 2020 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see a PDF of the print version, more articles, and past issues, click here. Do you remember your 30th birthday? (Apologies if you haven’t had yours yet.) For most of us, our 30th birthday […]

Connecting Youth to Nature and Habitat Restoration

  • October 7, 2020

Timing can be everything. From when you plant a seed in winter to when a bird begins its migration to when a new educational partnership begins. The timing for the partnership with Sycamore’s Environmental Education Program (EE) and Cedars Christian School was indeed no coincidence. Last spring, Cedars’ teachers and administrators had been utilizing their […]

Sycamore’s online Birthday Party: What to expect

  • September 11, 2020

We’re excited to invite you and all our friends to Sycamore Land Trust’s 30th birthday party! Maybe you got the postcard in the mail, or you learned about it through Facebook, Instagram, or e-news. You know you want to be a part of the celebration, but you’re not quite sure how we’re going to have […]

Why we’re changing the name of a nature preserve

  • August 28, 2020

August 28, 2020 Contact: Abby Henkel, Communications Director, abby@sycamorelandtrust.org When the Indiana Department of Natural Resources announced in May 2020 that Sycamore Land Trust’s Dilcher-Turner Canyon Forest was the newest state-dedicated nature preserve, the public was thrilled. And so was everyone at Sycamore! This beautiful, hilly hardwood forest with canyons and ravines in Greene County […]

Coyote and bobcat research spotlight

  • August 11, 2020

August 13, 2020 Earlier this year, Purdue University contacted us about collaborating on a predator research study at one of our Brown County preserves, the Laura Hare Nature Preserve at Downey Hill. The primary objective of the project was to collect data to better estimate the population of both coyotes (Canis latrans) and bobcats (Lynx […]

Learning about Birds: thoughts from a new birder

  • July 8, 2020

by Eva Lapp, Communications and Development Graduate Fellow header photo: eastern phoebe at Cedar Crest, Jaime Sweany Here at Sycamore Land Trust, every staff member has a deep and abiding passion for continued learning about wildlife conservation. As the newest member of the team, I don’t come from an environmental background but I have been […]

  • Birding,
  • birds,
  • black birders week,
  • species,
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(Not) sorry to bug you

  • June 16, 2020

by Chris Fox, Land Stewardship Manager This article originally appeared in the summer 2020 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here. Being a land steward has its perks! Not the least of which is having the great outdoors as your office. However, it also has its drawbacks. […]

Butterfly

“My favorite plant is whatever new plant I discover.”

  • June 16, 2020

by Abby Henkel, Communications Director This article originally appeared in the summer 2020 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here. Peine Farm has been in the family for 50 years, but these days you might instead call it Peine Nature Oasis. In every season, the family’s 196-acre […]

“Your land will never be timbered”

  • June 16, 2020

by Rob McCrea, Land Preservation Director This article originally appeared in the summer 2020 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here. The best part of my job at Sycamore is working with property owners who want to protect their land. There is much more to protecting the […]

Life on a log

  • June 16, 2020

by Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director This article originally appeared in the summer 2020 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here. Not all wildlife encounters are as obvious as a deer crossing the road, a squirrel on a birdfeeder, or a hawk on a roadside fence post. […]

Insects in our ecosystem

  • June 12, 2020

by Abby Henkel, Communications Director This article originally appeared in the summer 2020 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here. Cover photo by Rick Malad, @cadmea: A mining bee visits spring beauty, a delicate spring ephemeral flower, at the Malad Preserve in Monroe County, a private property […]

Dilcher-Turner Canyon Forest becomes State-Dedicated Nature Preserve

  • May 27, 2020

Update: The Dilcher-Turner Canyon Forest has been renamed the Canyon Forest Nature Preserve. Contact: Kate Hammel, Communications Director, Sycamore Land Trust kate@sycamorelandtrust.org A nature preserve owned and protected by Sycamore Land Trust has become the latest natural area to earn the distinction of State-Dedicated Nature Preserve by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Dilcher-Turner Canyon […]

Announcing weekend closure: Amy Weingartner Branigin Peninsula Preserve

  • May 14, 2020

Due to an extraordinary increase in visitation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Amy Weingartner Branigin Peninsula Preserve will be closed on weekends and holidays. The parking lot will be gated at 8:00 pm on Fridays and reopen at 8:00 am on Mondays. Sycamore’s primary mission is to preserve and restore natural lands and we work […]

Online auction fundraiser for Sycamore

  • May 14, 2020

We’re pleased to announce the opening of an online auction fundraiser for Sycamore Land Trust! Sycamore member and owner of the Persimmon Inn, Sue Fratianni, has generously donated a one-of-a-kind root burl armchair to be auctioned by Estate & Downsizing Specialists LLC. View the auction   About the Root Burl Armchair The burl, believed to […]

Arbor Day: Tree species for your yard

  • April 14, 2020

by Abby Henkel, Communications Director, and Chris Fox, Land Stewardship Manager In celebration of Arbor Day 2020, we’ve put together resources and ideas to help you pick the right tree species for your yard and take care of it over the years. Although we’ve had to turn our annual Arbor Day Tree Giveaway into a […]

Responsible Recreation

  • April 13, 2020

Parks, trails, and natural areas across the country have had many more visitors recently, including Sycamore’s public nature preserves. It’s great to get outside! Just remember that safety, courtesy, and protecting nature always come first. Do your part and follow these rules if you venture out for a hike: If a parking area is full, […]

From the Executive Director

  • April 6, 2020

April 6th, 2020 Dear Sycamore Friends, We’re about to begin the third week of the recently extended statewide stay-at-home order, during which our wonderful staff have been working at home and finding new ways of accomplishing Sycamore’s mission. With the COVID-19 situation changing every day, it’s hard to know what the next few days, weeks, […]

Nature activities to enjoy at home

  • April 2, 2020

If you’re stuck at home and itching to enjoy the great outdoors, fear not. There are lots of ways you can enjoy nature and learn something new without leaving your home or yard. Keep in touch with us to show how you’re exploring nature from home on Facebook and Instagram. Steward nature in your own […]

Closures and cancellations due to COVID-19

  • March 17, 2020

To keep our Sycamore family and our wider community safe during the coronavirus outbreak, our staff will be working from home and in the field. Our office in Bloomington will be closed to visitors for the time being; our nature preserves remain open. We anticipate there will be event cancellations, so please stay tuned to […]

10,000 acres thanks to you

  • February 21, 2020

by Abby Henkel, Communications Director This article originally appeared in the winter/spring 2020 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here. This past November, we reached a milestone: 10,000 acres protected forever. Thanks to the steady support of Sycamore members and volunteers, together we will protect this land […]

Building habitat corridors

  • February 21, 2020

by Rob McCrea, Land Protection Director and John Lawrence, Executive Director This article originally appeared in the winter/spring 2020 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here. Land use patterns that carve up contiguous natural areas and isolate habitats make it harder for populations of plant and animal […]

Sycamore volunteers: Leading the pack

  • February 21, 2020

by Chris Fox, Land Stewardship Manager This article originally appeared in the winter/spring 2020 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here. I recently read an article which stated that the national volunteerism rate had declined to a new 15-year low. The percentage of people giving financially to […]

Nature preserve renamed for Indiana forest advocate, Bob Klawitter

  • February 21, 2020

by Ann Connors, Development Director This article originally appeared in the winter/spring 2020 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here. On a bright afternoon in early November, family and fellow environmentalists gathered at Sycamore’s Lake Lemon Woods preserve in Monroe County to honor the late Bob Klawitter […]

Beauties of Spring

  • February 11, 2020

by Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director This article originally appeared in the winter/spring 2020 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here. American Indians have been known to make special teas or “spring tonics” to rejuvenate the spirit after a long winter. A walk in a springtime […]

Facing a Changing Climate

  • February 11, 2020

by Abby Henkel, Communications Director This article originally appeared in the winter/spring 2020 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here. There is a place in the woods behind our office at Cedar Crest where the trail meets the creek. When I need to clear my mind, […]

Unionville Elementary honors Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director

  • February 10, 2020

Shane Gibson thought it would be a regular day working with the classrooms at Unionville Elementary. As Sycamore’s Environmental Education Director, Shane works with classrooms throughout Unionville and at schools all over southern Indiana on all kinds of nature education, from watershed studies to growing native seeds to birdwatching and beyond. When he walked into […]

Sam Shine’s Legacy at Sycamore Land Trust

  • January 23, 2020

As we reflect on Sycamore’s first three decades of protecting nature in southern Indiana, we remember Sam Shine for his generosity and commitment to ecological preservation and restoration in southern Indiana and beyond. Sam passed away on November 15, 2019 at the age of 86. Growing up in New Albany, Indiana, Sam developed a great […]

A new milestone: 10,000 acres protected forever

  • December 2, 2019

We are overjoyed to announce that Sycamore Land Trust now protects more than 10,000 acres of land in southern Indiana! In October 2019 we closed on the anonymous donation of 188 wooded acres in Owen County, bringing Sycamore’s protected land to 10,000 acres. Since then, we have closed on two more properties, in Monroe and […]

Holiday gifts to support Sycamore

  • November 19, 2019

Many of us love giving gifts to our family and friends, but we shy away from materialism and unneeded clutter as we turn toward supporting local organizations and making an impact on our community. This holiday giving season, why not connect the folks on your giving list with Sycamore Land Trust? There are lots of […]

New species of firefly seen at Beanblossom Bottoms

  • November 7, 2019

We are thrilled to announce that a newly discovered, rare firefly has been found at Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve! The cypress firefly, discovered by biologist Lynn Frierson Faust in Mississippi in 2017, was only known to live in cypress swamps until biologist Max Henschen identified Beanblossom Bottoms as a potential habitat in June 2019. He […]

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From the Land Preservation Director

  • October 28, 2019

by Rob McCrea This article originally appeared in the fall 2019 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here. Many conservationists have a favorite passage from Aldo Leopold. One of mine is about how the outdoor experiences we have as children resonate with us, and how we try […]

Environmental Education Highlights

  • October 28, 2019

by Shane Gibson, Environmental Education Director This article originally appeared in the fall 2019 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here. Our Environmental Education program aims to get people of all ages comfortable in the outdoors, interested in nature, and dedicated to protecting it. This spring […]

Christian Freitag Trail Dedication

  • October 28, 2019

by Ann Connors, Development Director This article originally appeared in the fall 2019 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here. In June, a group of good friends of Sycamore came together at our office, Cedar Crest, for a reception and ceremony to honor Christian Freitag, Sycamore’s Executive […]

The Diversity of Planet Earth

  • October 28, 2019

by Abby Henkel, Communications Director This article originally appeared in the fall 2019 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here. Beyond the 1.8 million species discovered on earth, scientists estimate there are many more times that yet to be found and named. Perhaps 3.6 million more […]

Target Circle: Vote for Sycamore!

  • October 16, 2019

Sycamore is thrilled to be selected as a participant in the launch of Target Circle in Bloomington! This new program allows Target shoppers to raise funds for local nonprofits by voting with points they earn each shopping trip. By voting for Sycamore, you can help direct Target’s giving to preserve more land, restore more habitat, […]

Laura Hare Nature Preserve at the Confluence Acquired

  • July 15, 2019

Sycamore Land Trust has added a new 33-acre nature preserve to our Beanblossom Creek Bicentennial Conservation Area, thanks to a grant from the Laura Hare Charitable Trust and the support of Sycamore members. The new Laura Hare Nature Preserve at the Confluence is located in the northwest corner of Monroe County, where Beanblossom Creek flows […]

LGBTQ Environmentalists

  • June 26, 2019

by Ellen Bergan, Volunteer Conservation Intern Happy LGBTQ Pride Month! Pride Month is a time to celebrate diversity, identity, and the important strides made in LGBTQ rights and equality. Alongside this progress, LGBTQ people have created resounding impacts in conservation and environmental justice. As outdoor spaces have historically been shaped by white, cisgender (non-transgender), and […]

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Patsy Powell’s legacy in nature

  • June 5, 2019

by John Lawrence, Executive Director This article originally appeared in the summer 2019 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here. While conservation is forever, a lot can happen in a few years, and Sycamore’s beautiful Powell Preserve in Monroe County is a perfect example. As we remember […]

Land Trust Accreditation

  • June 5, 2019

by Susan Haislip Daleke, Administrative Director This article originally appeared in the summer 2019 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here. In February, Sycamore Land Trust reached a significant milestone by earning national accreditation= with the Land Trust Alliance. LTA is a national leader in policy, standards, […]

A Heritage of Land Stewardship

  • June 5, 2019

by Ann Connors, Development Director This article originally appeared in the summer 2019 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here. Del and Letty Newkirk’s love of land and animals has been a lifelong passion. Del grew up on a farm in Columbus, IN, and for decades the […]

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From the Executive Director

  • June 3, 2019

This article originally appeared in the summer 2019 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! To all of Sycamore’s wonderful members, foundation grantors, and business supporters; to our dedicated board, advisory board, volunteers, staff, and partner organizations; and to all […]

Stewardship Stories

  • June 3, 2019

by Abby Henkel, Communications Director This article originally appeared in the summer 2019 issue of The Twig, our member newsletter. To see more articles and past issues, click here. “We strive for a way of life that our descendants will look back on with gratitude, a way of life that is worthy of our magnificent […]