Sycamore Land Trust

Preserving land and connecting people to nature

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Sycamore Land Trust

Newest preserve shines with potential

A preserve this big is worth seeing from the air! Thank you to Bill Oliver for giving our Assistant Director, John Lawrence, a fly-over with his camera. This photo looks southeast, with Beanblossom Creek bordering the property along the left and bottom of this photo.

A preserve this big is worth seeing from the air! Thank you to Bill Oliver for giving our Assistant Director, John Lawrence, a fly-over with his camera. This photo looks southeast, with Beanblossom Creek bordering the property along the left and bottom.

October 6, 2015 – In its third largest acquisition ever, Sycamore Land Trust has purchased 339 acres with over a mile of frontage along Beanblossom Creek in northwest Monroe County. This preserve will be named in honor of the Sam Shine Foundation, which helped make the purchase possible. Support from Sycamore members was also essential.

This preserve protects an ecologically important area, provides a home for threatened and endangered species, and will create opportunities for public recreation and education. These are all priorities of the Bicentennial Nature Trust, which contributed match funding toward the purchase. As a Bicentennial project, it conserves land for future generations in celebration of Indiana’s 200th anniversary in 2016.

“This is the most significant project so far in the Beanblossom Creek Bicentennial Conservation Area,” said Sycamore’s director, Christian Freitag. “It’s big—over half a square mile—and it’s in a prime location for habitat restoration for bald eagles and other wildlife.”

Shine Preserve 2015-8-31 by KJF (53)_web

Colorful ironweed, buttonbush, and other valuable wildlife plants cover a significant portion of the new preserve.

The new preserve has a similar starting point as Sycamore’s Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve, which was first protected in 1995. Since then, visitors have witnessed the regeneration of the woods and wetlands, and bald eagles nesting for the past 7 years.

As with Beanblossom Bottoms, this new preserve offers an exceptional opportunity to restore a sensitive area. Sycamore will keep the current fields in agricultural production for several years while restoration plans are fully developed and funded. This will control invasive plants until restoration efforts—such as planting bottomland hardwood trees—begin.

Sycamore plans to open this new preserve for public visitation in time. It has great potential for environmental education and enjoyment by hikers, birders, and nature photographers.

Thank you to the Sam Shine Foundation, the Bicentennial Nature Trust, landowner Mike Edgeworth, and Sycamore members for protecting this property for future generations!

 

Shine Preserve 2015-8-31 by KJF (54)

Beanblossom Creek runs along the side of the new preserve for over a mile, providing wildlife sanctuary.

Fields of good wildlife plants provide habitat for creatures like this milkweed caterpillar.

Fields of good wildlife plants provide habitat for creatures like this milkweed caterpillar.