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About us

NICHES mission is to protect, restore and sustain northern Indiana’s ecosystems by providing habitat for native species and offering natural places for education, appreciation and enjoyment of current and future generations.

 

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Our Land

 

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BOARD OFFICERS



President: Dan Towery
Vice-President: Linda Anderson

Treasurer: Bill McFee
Secretary: Bill Arthur


BOARD MEMBERS


Shirley Burd
Tom Busch
John Burns
Wes Crawford
Don Franzmeier
Nancy Grenard
Mike Jenkins
Bonnie Maxwell
Guillermo Pardillo
Jason Rakoczy
Matt Washburn

Elections will occur at the NICHES Annual Meeting

Lily Nature Center

April 27th, 5:30 – 8:00 PM

 

Jason Rakoczy

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Originally from Hobart, Indiana, Jason grew up on over a hundred acres of land off Lake George in Northwest Indiana and was always around the outdoors. He obtained a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Construction Management and currently works for JR Kelly Company in Lafayette, where he handles new commercial construction and renovation projects. After graduating from Purdue and settling into his professional life, he wanted to take a more active role in helping to preserve and protect the ecosystems around the area. During a hike at Turkey Run State Park one afternoon, he came across an individual who pointed him towards NICHES Land Trust, and he has been an active volunteer ever since. His professional life and passion for the outdoors, translates well into providing support to NICHES as a board member.

Matt Washburn

Matt Washburn

Born and raised in Fowler, Indiana, on a crop and livestock farm with three brothers, Matt now lives on the south end of Benton County on Pine Creek with his son, Mason, who is 13. After college he worked with his father exporting cattle followed by liquidating the balance of the cattle through a genetics company conducting embryo transfer work. In the late 1980’s he started a business brokerage with partners which led to a commercial real estate brokerage which is his primary focus today. Outside of work, Matt enjoys spending time with his son. Their favorite activities include: snow skiing, fishing, hunting, camping, canoeing, mountain biking, and many other outdoor activities. Community activities include: Pheasants Forever board member, Financial Planning Consultants, Inc. board member, past board member for Family Services Real Estate arm, and Soap Box Derby.

Tom Busch

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A long time resident of Tippecanoe County, Judge Busch, was appointed to the NICHES Board of Directors in 2012. Introduced to NICHES by former board member, Jim McGlone, when they walked through a NICHES protected marshland. Tom volunteered to fill a vacant seat on the board. Inspired by his love of the woods and walking through the natural surroundings with his beloved wife, Kathy. Tom currently serves on the Strategic Planning and Education, Community and Outreach (ECO) Committees.

Denise Laussade

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Denise Laussade serves as director of the Office of Treasury Operations at Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana). She is responsible for all debt and cash management programs and the University’s financial relationships. Denise’s previous experience includes Texaco, Darden Restaurants, Dan River, the University of Virginia, and Bitterroot Restoration. Denise earned a Bachelors of Business Administration in Quantitative Management Science from the University of Houston (Houston, Texas), and a Masters of Business Administration in Finance from Pace University (New York, New York). Denise was on the Board of Directors for the Association for Financial Professionals from 2000 to 2006, and was Chairman from 2002 to 2004. She has also served in governance on numerous civic organizations in her communities. In Lafayette, Indiana, she currently serves as a member of NICHES Endowment Board of Directors, and the NICHES Finance Committee, as well as board member and Treasurer of the Art Museum of Greater Lafayette.

Our team


Featuring

Approximately 15 MILES OF PUBLIC TRAILS
EXPLORE PRAIRIE, WOODLAND & WETLAND
NEARLY 3100 ACRES PRESERVED
FREE & OPEN DAWN TO DUSK
DISCOVER RESERVES ACROSS 13 COUNTIES
PADDLE ALONG INDIANA WATERWAYS

Testimonials

Latest Posts

Calendar

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Apr 25 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm Clegg Garden
Contribute to the ongoing care of Clegg Garden by attending the workday led by a member of NICHES staff.  Arrive at 9:30 for coffee / tea and a conversation about the task for the workday. [...]
Apr 25 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Clegg Memorial Garden
From late March through May, spring wildflowers carpet the woodlands of Indiana. A walk can be a source of incredible joy as these sentinels of a new season bloom. A good wildflower guide will help[...]
Apr 26 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Wright Rock Creek Nature Reserve
Hike the trails at Wright Rock Creek with NICHES Stewardship Manager, Bob Easter. Learn about the work NICHES has done with Wright Rock Creek and about the landscape of that area.
Apr 27 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm Lily Nature Center
Join NICHES staff, board, and members for the 2017 Annual Meeting.
May 2 @ 9:30 am – 12:00 pm Clegg Garden
Contribute to the ongoing care of Clegg Garden by attending the workday led by a member of NICHES staff.  Arrive at 9:30 for coffee / tea and a conversation about the task for the workday. [...]
May 2 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Clegg Memorial Garden
From late March through May, spring wildflowers carpet the woodlands of Indiana. A walk can be a source of incredible joy as these sentinels of a new season bloom. A good wildflower guide will help[...]
May 4 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm Wildcat Park
Join NICHES for the first Wildcat Creek Float of the year! This ‘Members Only’ kickoff event will be a great way to officially shake off the winter blues, and start your summer months off right.[...]
May 6 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm Weiler-Leopold Nature Preserve
What is a BioBlitz? A BioBlitz is a challenge to identify and document as many species of animals and plants in your area as you can. Join Us as We Locate and Photograph as Many[...]

Stories


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