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Oxbow Preserve

Oxbow Preserve protects the scenic gateway to Bloomington at the junction of Business 37 and IN 37/I-69 in Bloomington. “It’s the first thing you see when you come into town. It’s an iconic vista,” says the bargain sale land donor, Skip Van Cel. The preserve includes the Beanblossom Creek floodplain and an oxbow of the creek. An addition purchased in 2019 added acreage and frontage along Interstate 69.

Acquired as part of the Beanblossom Creek Bicentennial Conservation Area, the site was originally going to have parking and trails for public use. Plans were changed because a public entrance would require adding acceleration and deceleration lanes for safe access to Business 37, which proved to be prohibitively expensive. The preserve will therefore be dedicated to the preservation of habitat and the scenic view along these busy highways.

Sycamore is allowing formerly mowed fields at the preserve to revert to forest. Work to control invasive species including Asian bush honeysuckle and Bradford pear are ongoing.

  • County: Monroe
  • Acres: 44
  • Features: creek, bottomland forest, bald eagle flyovers from nearby nest
  • Years acquired: 2015, 2019
  • Acquired with gifts from: Skip Van Cel, Bicentennial Nature Trust, Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, and Sycamore members