Protected Forever: Forests, Wetlands, Prairies, Family Farms Sycamore Land Trust protects land by owning nature preserves and by holding permanent conservation easements on privately-owned land. Sycamore now protects nearly 100 properties totaling 9,000 acres—all made possible by the generous support of our donors and volunteers. What it means to protect land Jie Yan helps clear the trail at Porter West Preserve. Nature is vivacious. Give the plants, animals, bugs, fungi, and waterways a chance to survive, and they’ll thrive. But when 85% of Indiana’s original forests have been destroyed, when species are put at risk of extinction, and when ponds and creeks fill with contaminants and face erosion, nature needs our help. Sycamore was founded in 1990 by a bunch of Hoosiers who realized the value of protecting these beautiful natural resources. Protection, or land stewardship as we call it, involves all the classic conservation techniques: planting native species like milkweeds for monarch butterflies, monitoring threatened species like the Indiana bat, planting trees to control erosion, cleaning up trash and debris, building trails for proper visitation and use, removing invasive species that crowd out helpful plants, strategic land acquisitions to build onto large wildlife corridors, and more. Sycamore does not allow commercial timbering on properties that we own. These activities help us achieve cleaner water, safe habitats, diverse ecosystems, and meaningful ways for people to connect with nature. We can do more with your help — volunteer, donate funds, and spread the word. The frog pond at Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve in fall. Photo by Marcin Zalewski. How you can get involved Looking for a place to go hiking or birding, observe wildlife, do nature photography, or get outside with your family or kids? Check out our list of public nature preserves with maps and directions. All our public preserves are completely free to visit. Preserve Your Land tells how you can work with Sycamore to ensure that your land will be protected for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.