Sand Savannas – some interesting information

Sand savannas, unique and fascinating ecosystems of sand soil, exist in the northern portion of NICHES service area. NICHES Land Trust promotes and supports sand savanna conservation by meeting with land owners interested in protecting and conserving sand savannas on their properties in Jasper or Newton County, educating the public about sand savannas, and of course stewarding the sand savannas at Fisher Oak Savanna Nature Preserve in Jasper County, and Holley Savanna in Newton County.

You can experience the sand savanna ecosystem by visiting either property. You can learn about Fisher Oak Savanna by watching our informative and engaging documentary.   If you own land with a sand savanna and want to learn more about conservation strategies or opportunities, contact

Here is a link to information on sand savannas presented by Illinois State Museum.

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Fisher Oak Savanna Nature Preserve

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Fisher Oak Savanna Nature Preserve 40.846741, -87.043948 Fisher Oak webpage (Directions)
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Holley Savanna

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Holley Savanna 40.985965, -87.327827 Holley webpage (Directions)

Orchids – an online resource for identification and conservation

Amanda Ingrams, Faculty at Wabash College, presented at a recent Wednesday in the Wild about Indiana native orchids. Amanda is conducting research on the relationship between mycorrhizal and orchids. She explained orchid life cycle, shared interesting and compelling questions worthy of future study.

Amanda also shared a resource, NAOCC, self defined as:

“North American Orchid Conservation Center is a coalition of organizations dedicated to conserving our orchid heritage. Established as a collaborative effort by the Smithsonian Institution, and the United States Botanic Garden. NAOCC is based at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center and includes units at the National Zoological Park, National Museum of Natural History and Smithsonian Gardens.”


Wildcat Creek – a wonderful waterway

The free flowing, state scenic waterway, Wildcat Creek is a beautiful and dynamic ecosystem with a rich history. If you have not visited the Wildcat, I encourage you to do so. Go to an access point (such as Peter’s Mill Landing, Mi-So-Lah, Yeoman Bridge). Spend some time contemplating, read, listen to the water gurgle by, fish, put in a boat paddle, be inspired to write, count birds, dip your feet in the water, paint, draw, think, be.

Hike the trails at Clegg Memorial Garden and overlook the Wildcat from above and along the bank.

Taking the time to observe and connect with natural spaces and your life is infinitely richer.

NICHES Land Trust connects with local service organizations

As Education and Outreach Coordinator, I have the privilege and pleasure of visiting with and presenting to various social organizations throughout our service area. One such presentation, to the Lafayette Kiwanis, was recorded and shared, you can check it out if you like.

If you are a member of a club, group, or organization who would like to have a NICHES presentation, contact Brooke to discuss: or call 765-423-1605.

Explore nature with your kids

NICHES provides natural spaces for folks of all ages to explore.  Time spent is nature has a host of benefits. Check out this article, “Benefits for children of time spent in nature”, from Healthy Parks Healthy People Central.

Bring some kids out into nature for fun and exploration.

Why should you care about invasive species?

Well, there are many and diverse reasons to care about invasive species. This video explores a variety of perspectives: outdoors folks (fisherfolk, hunters), farmers, forestry researchers, forestry managers…

While the video is produced in and about Appalachia, the principles, impacts and reasons to care about invasive species apply here in Indiana.
Take a few moments and listen to what these folks have to say.

Our stories – connecting with and caring for the land

NICHES Land Trust works with so many individuals with rich and meaningful connections to the land. We hear amazing, inspiring, and wonderful stories from members, volunteers, donors, partners, and the community.

Check out some of the stories on our website “Our Stories” link. Watch a video, listen to an audio recording, or read words written.

Share your story with NICHES. Contact if you have a particular or special story you want to record.


With gratitude and appreciation to Roy Whistler Foundation

NICHES benefits from the generous support of the Roy Whistler Foundation on many conservation projects. The Whistler Foundation asserts that, “Through our endowed resources, it is the mission of the Foundation to preserve and restore wild properties and wildlife in the Central Indiana Region for generations to come.” Check out their website to learn more about this conservation organization.

To see a list of projects funded by the Roy Whistler Foundation, including those for NICHES Land Trust, visit this page.

Clegg Memorial Garden houses the Roy Whistler Library.

Visit the Whistler Nature Reserve and Granville Sand Barrens in Tippecanoe County, or one of the many other properties supported by Roy Whistler Foundation.

Nature Writing – follow the inspiration

NICHES values our relationship with authors, artists, poets and other creative individuals.  Creative arts are an excellent means of connecting with nature.

Come out to a NICHES property, connect with nature and be inspired. Bring a journal and write.

Here are some links to nature writing resources:

From Discover Writing, “How to be a Nature Writer”

Link to Nature Writing website

Box Turtles – species of concern in Indiana

Both the eastern box and ornate box turtles are species in need of protection in Tippecanoe County, and Indiana. The eastern box turtle is listed as a ‘species of special concern’ in Tippecanoe County, by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The ornate box turtle is an endangered species in Indiana according to the DNR.

Habitat destruction is one of the major influences to species survival.

NICHES Land Trust protects and restores native ecosystems that support both species. We are excited that a population of ornate box turtles has made a home at Granville Sand Barrens.

We have recorded eastern box turtles at many of our properties, as well.

Our land management protects the ecosystem and preserves the habitats for these and other native wildlife species.