Sycamore Land Trust

Preserving Southern Indiana since 1990


Sycamore Land Trust


Volunteers with the Hoosier Hikers Council during a fall trail workday at The Laura Hare Nature Preserve at Downey Hill. Photo by John Lawrence.

Hoosier Hikers Council Workdays

The Laura Hare Nature Preserve at Downey Hill (Brown County)

Third Saturdays, 9 am-3 pm

We are thankful that the Hoosier Hikers Council’s current project is to build a trail at our Laura Hare Nature Preserve at Downey Hill. A two-mile loop trail will be finished Spring 2016, and then work will begin on an additional trail south of the existing one. Many Sycamore members have helped with this exciting project. Please consider joining HHC for a workday! HHC workdays are on Third Saturdays and…  [Read More]

Patricia Denison and Jamie Clark ready to trim brush at Porter West during October's Preserve a Preserve Day. Photo by Jaime Sweany.

Sycamore Stewardship Corps meetings

Cedar Crest, Bloomington

2nd Thursday every other month, 5:30-6:30 pm

Sycamore is protecting more land than ever before—9,000 acres—and YOU can play a vital role in maintaining this growing number of preserves! We invite you to join our newly formed Sycamore Stewardship Corps (SSC). This volunteer-powered working group organizes stewardship projects at various preserves and at various times (weekends, weekdays, etc). Anyone with any level of skill and experience is welcome. We also need leadership volunteers who can organize and…  [Read More]

A prothonotary warbler perches on a cypress tree at Eagle Slough Natural Area, which is a hotspot for warbler migration and is also home to birds year-round. Photo by Steve Gifford.

Ohio Valley Birding Festival

Southwest Indiana locations

April 15-17 and May 6-8

Our friends at the Ohio Valley Birding Festival have planned six great days of bird watching, hiking, and camaraderie. Several of the outings take place at Sycamore Land Trust preserves, so this is a great opportunity to become more familiar with these bird-friendly spots: Columbia Mine Preserve, part of the Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge – April 15 Eagle Slough Natural Area – April 17          …  [Read More]

The ravine at Cedar Crest on a beautiful spring day. Photo by Jaime Sweany.

Cedar Crest Trail Workdays and Training

Cedar Crest (Monroe County)

Mondays, 9 am – 12 pm, beginning April 25

James Shearn and Pete Banta of the Hoosier Hikers Council (HHC) will lead trail-building workdays to improve and expand the existing Ravine Trail at Cedar Crest. This is a perfect opportunity to gain skills while working with experienced and knowledgeable volunteer trail-builders! Whether you are a member of the newly formed Sycamore Stewardship Corps (SSC) or simply someone with spring fever and a desire to make a difference, please join…  [Read More]

Getting the essentials from the Arbor Day Tree Giveaway at Bloomingfoods. Photo by John D. Shearer.

Arbor Day Tree Giveaway

Bloomingfoods East and West

Friday, April 29, 4-7 p.m.

Stop by Bloomingfoods East or West (East 3rd St or West 6th St) and pick up a free seedling from Sycamore volunteers! We also need volunteers! Volunteer to be a seedling wrapper on April 28 or a seedling distributor on April 29. Please contact Jaime Sweany at or 812-336-5382 x100 by April 21 if you’d like to volunteer.                      

Click to enlarge.

Branches Gives Back: Invasive Plant Pull

Porter West Preserve

Saturday, April 30, 1-4 pm

Sycamore Branches, our young supporters group, is embarking on its first stewardship service project. Enjoy time outside with like-minded folks while pulling invasive garlic mustard, followed by local brews at Upland’s West Side Beer Bar. RSVP at                           Poster by Sycamore Branches committee member Roy Hooper.

Dr. Vicky Meretsky helps people identify frogs. Photo by Marcin Zalewski.

Frog Chorus and Skydance Hike

Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve (Monroe County)

Sunday, May 1, 7-9 p.m. CANCELLED

Update 4/29/2016 – Cancelled due to rainy forecast and already-high water levels at Beanblossom Bottoms. Do you know which frog sounds like two metal marbles clicking together, and which one like a banjo string twang? Have you seen the American woodcock do its dance at dusk? Stroll on the boardwalk across this fascinating wetland ecosystem as Dr. Vicky Meretsky of IU-SPEA helps us identify frog songs and Assistant Director John…  [Read More]

Families search local streams for aquatic wildlife. Photo by Marcin Zalewski.

Li’l Hikers: What’s in the Water?

Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve (Monroe County)

Sunday, May 15, 12-2 p.m.

What is a pollywog? Where do dragonflies lay their eggs? The Beanblossom Creek floodplain provides wonderful habitat for aquatic life. We will explore the pond and puddles for animals that live in and around water. Rubber boots are highly recommended. Meet at Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve. Li’l Hikers family outings are geared toward children up to age 12. A snack will be provided. Free for Sycamore members; the suggested donation…  [Read More]

Porter West Workday, Photo by Martha Fox

Third Thursday Preserve-a-Preserve Day

Touch the Earth Natural Area (Bartholomew County)

Thursday, May 19, 9 a.m.- 1 p.m.

Purpose: Removal of invasive garlic mustard plants. This is a critical time of year to pull invasives to curtail their rapid growth. Sturdy boots and work gloves are recommended. Meet at Cedar Crest (Sycamore’s office, 4898 E Heritage Woods Rd, Bloomington) at 8:30 a.m. to carpool, or at the preserve at 9:15 a.m. We will share a light meal at noon then return by 1:15 p.m. Lunch and water provided….  [Read More]

Weekday Walkers at Fish Creek. Photo by Martha Fox.

Weekday Walkers: Spring Forest Hike

Laura Hare Nature Preserve at Downey Hill (Brown County)

Wednesday, May 25, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Just as the spring forest rejuvenates itself, spring is a time to rejuvenate the personal spirit too. Enjoy the sights and sounds of beautiful Brown County at the Laura Hare Nature Preserve at Downey Hill. If coming from Bloomington, meet at the east side Kmart parking lot at 9:15 to carpool. Or meet us at the preserve at 10:00. Weekday Walkers outings are naturalist-led strolls on special topics. Your input…  [Read More]

Who's been here? What is that? Asking lots of questions is a powerful way to learn about our natural world. During Li'l Hikers outings, Outreach Event Coorindator David Rupp (left) encourages this children (and parents!) to ask questions about anything that catchs their eye. Photo by Marcin Zalweski.

Li’l Hikers: Sensory Adventure

The Cedars Preserve (Monroe County)

Saturday, June 4, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Have your children smelled cedar and sassafras? Heard the “tea-kettle, tea-kettle, tea” of the Carolina wren? Seen the bright red feathers of a cardinal? Test your ability to identify mystery items with your eyes closed! Come observe the wonders of nature using your five senses with Environmental Education Director Shane Gibson at The Cedars Preserve. Meet at northeast end of the Sam’s Club parking lot in Bloomington by 9:00 to…  [Read More]

JWL and Jason Goodman

Member and Volunteer Appreciation Potluck

This event was scheduled for June 11 but has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience and hope to reschedule at a later date.            

Jie Yan loves the woods so was happy to help clear a trail at Porter West Preserve. Photo by Jaime Sweany.

Third Thursday Preserve-a-Preserve Day

Porter West Preserve

Thursday, June 16, 9 am-1 pm (lunch included!)

We’ll continue working on the new trails at Porter West Preserve, a popular spot near Bloomington by finishing up the west connector trail. We’ll also control invasive multiflora rose in the woods nearby. Wear long pants and sturdy shoes or boots, bring work gloves and water. Bring loppers and handsaws if you have them. Meet at the preserve entrance on Vernal Pike. RSVP by June 14. Register here or call…  [Read More]

Monarch caterpillar on swamp milkweed.

Eco Logic Native Plant Sale

8685 W Vernal Pike, Bloomington

Saturday, June 18, 9 am-4 pm

One of Sycamore’s long-term partners, Eco Logic, is opening the first exclusively native plant nursery in southern Indiana on Saturday, May 7 from 9 am-4 pm. The nursery offers a considerable variety of native plants ideal for prairie, rain garden, and woodland settings, as well as plantings to support birds, butterflies and other pollinators. Openings will continue each Saturday in May, and on Saturday, June 18, a portion of sales…  [Read More]

Weekday Walkers: Explore a Conservation Easement

Yellowwood Farm

Thursday, July 14, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Nestled next to state forest land on the Monroe-Brown County line, Yellowwood Farm is a private property that provides a lovely mix of meadow, creek, and upland habitats. Enjoy the beauty of these diverse habitats while learning what is a conservation easement and how Sycamore Land Trust works with private land owners to protect their property. Meet at the K-Mart parking lot on Bloomington’s east side to carpool to this…  [Read More]