Shirley Heinze Land Trust will host an educational bus tour of its nature preserves on Saturday, June 9, 2018, from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. During the ride, staff, board members and guest speakers, including IUN Geosciences Professor Dr. Erin Argyilan, will provide insights on land conservation and the ecology, geology, and history of northwestern Indiana.
Ten of the organization’s nature preserves are included on the tour through Lake, Porter, and LaPorte Counties. The bus will make brief stops at five preserves.
The bus will depart promptly at 8:00 a.m. from the Meadowbrook Conservation Center and Nature Preserve located at 109 W. 700 North, Valparaiso, IN. It will head west to Ivanhoe South Nature Preserve in Gary for a short hike. This 50-acre property, tucked between a residential neighborhood and an industrial area, features globally rare dune and swale topography. The black oak savanna natural community here has recently been significantly restored.
The bus will then travel south to the Hobart Marsh conservation area. On the way, passengers will pass by nature preserves located near I-65, including Hidden Prairie/Ivory Wetlands on the west, and Brinson/Bock Higgins prairies to the east. The bus will stop for a short hike at Bur Oak Woods, which features a rare bur oak savanna natural community, with trees that are several hundred years old. Another brief hike is planned at nearby Cressmoor Prairie to see and hear about restoration work at this beautiful example of rare black-soil prairie.
The bus will then travel back to Meadowbrook Conservation Center and Nature Preserve for lunch in the lodge, with food provided by Third Coast Spice Cafe.
The afternoon portion of the tour will focus on preserves in Porter and LaPorte Counties. Along the way, participants will hear about the Little Calumet Conservation Corridor project and the restoration and public access improvements being performed at preserves along the river. The bus will drive past Wykes - Plampin Nature Preserve in Chesterton, and stop for a brief hike at the 165-acre Dale B. Engquist Nature Preserve, located along the Little Calumet River, adjacent to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s Heron Rookery. From there the bus will head to Ambler Flatwoods in Michigan City for a brief stop.
On the final leg of the tour, the bus will take a scenic drive through the Great Marsh in Beverly Shores and a make a brief stop at the Great Marsh Trail. Herons, egrets, and sandhill cranes can often be seen at this wetland restoration area. The tour will return to Meadowbrook at 3:30 p.m.
The cost for the tour is $40 per person, which includes the lunch. Reservations are required and may be made by calling (219) 242-8558. The deadline for reservations is Monday, June 4, 2018. Payment must be made in advance. Seating is limited, so early reservations are advised. The bus is restroom equipped.
200 E Michigan Blvd. Michigan City, IN 46360 | P. 219-874-6221 | F. 219-873-1204 | firstname.lastname@example.org