Carroll County Libraries host “All-in Block Party” in Delphi

NICHES, both excited and honored, participates in the All-in Block Party hosted by Carroll County Libraries as part of the Bicentennial Torch Relay on October 6, 2016 in Delphi, IN.

NICHES Mary I. Gerard Nature Reserve lies adjacent to the Monon High Bridge Trail, one of many properties NICHES owns in Carroll County.

We will be present and celebrating local natural, geological and cultural history along with the rest of the community. Come on over to Delphi and join in the All-In Block party.

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 brooke@nicheslandtrust.org if you have a particular or special story you want to record.

 

Sycamore Audubon Society a great local organization

NICHES Land Trust works with many local organizations, agencies, businesses and individuals to conduct landscape level conservation in our region.

One such organization engaging local citizens to connect with and learn about nature is the Sycamore Audubon Society.

Helping Ecosystems Survive

NICHES Land Trust relies on memberships and contributions to achieve our mission. 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.

You can have a lasting positive impact on Indiana native ecosystems by becoming a member of NICHES Land Trust.

To learn more about what a land donor thinks, watch this video about our

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To learn more about what NICHES does, watch this video about the

NICHES summer 2016 Artist-in-Residence program comes to close

Duriniac_4c_printg July, NICHES Land Trust hosted artist-in-residence Sunny Miller. The residency was made possible by an Indiana Arts Commission (IAC) Arts in the Parks grant. We are grateful to the IAC for funding such programs and enabling Indiana citizens to connect with nature and express themselves with art.

The program included workshop and outdoor art sessions facilitated by resident artist Sunny Miller. The sessions were held at        Prophetstown State Park on July 9  and 10 and Tippecanoe River State Park on July 30 and 31st. The respective park staffs provided support throughout the planning and execution of the sessions. A generous thank you to the park staff for their professionalism, creativity, commitment, flexibility and follow-through.

Resident Artist, Sunny Miller provided engaging sessions for all ages. Families came together in celebration of nature and art, expressing their appreciation for natural areas.

Sunny reported that one participant at Tippecanoe River State Park shared her perspective on the experience. “On Saturday, Amber said she was so happy to paint and get some tips in response to her questions. Here she told me she was showing the importance of people who focus on safety, or might seem to be less visible but always ever present, nevertheless, like her grandmother. She made another painting back at her campsite and brought it to the Sunday session July 31 at Tippecanoe River State Park. I’d guess she also shows how much she loves being here at the Park!”

Amber_TippRiverStatePark_Workshop_2016_bySunnyMiller

 

 

Prairie and Poetry

August is a fabulous time to visit an Indiana native prairie – see the blooming wildflowers, watch the flitting butterflies, hear the buzz of bees and calls of prairie song birds while you bask in the sunshine of summer. NICHES Land Trust Fisher Oak Savanna is among the top prairie restorations in the state.

NICHES Land Trust  and Brick Street Poetry Inc. are hosting a “Prairie and Poetry’ event at NICHES Land Trust  Fisher Oak Savanna, on Saturday, August 20th, 2016.  Come to experience the prairie in person and through the poetry of poets who have work in the Bicentennial Legacy Project book, Mapping the Muse, published by Brick Street Poetry Inc.  Poets in the book who are part of the Prairie Writers Guild will be featured.  They will read the collaborative poem Prairie from the book and other nature related poems. There will be a shade tent and water on site to keep your head sheltered as your eyes and ears are filled with the sights, and sounds of our beloved Indiana prairie.

Come out to Fisher Oak Savanna Nature Preserve on Saturday August 20th, 2016 from 9:30 am – 11:00 am Central Time to participate in the celebration of poetry, community, and prairies.

Contact NICHES Land Trust for more information: brooke@nicheslandtrust.org or call 765-423-1605.

 

Wildcat Creek Watercolors Art Exhibit

Local artist Terry Lacy featured in NICHES Land Trust art exhibit at Clegg Garden throughout July. A collection of Terry’s lovely watercolors are on display. Come see landscapes, flower close-ups and wildlife studies.

Terry is a long time nature lover and skilled artist whose renderings capture both the subtlety and grandeur of nature. He has spent many hours painting and sketching along the Wildcat Creek.  All of the works featured in the exhibit showcase Wildcat Creek landscapes, flora and fauna.

Meet the artist at the opening reception, Friday July 8 from 6 – 8 pm. Light refreshments will be served along with wine from local Wildcat Creek Winery.  Come to the opening and mingle with Terry and NICHES staff, including Executive Director, Gus Nyberg, Development Director, Julie Rubsam, and Education and Outreach Coordinator Brooke Criswel

Be sure to approach the property from 400 E via 200 N as the Eisenhower Bridge is still closed.

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Clegg Memorial Garden - NICHES Administrative Office

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Clegg Memorial Garden - NICHES Administrative Office 40.444694, -86.828470 Property Webpage1782 N 400 E, Lafayette, IN 47905, United States (Directions)

 

NICHES planning rare plant monitoring citizen science program

Rare plant monitoring is a valuable way to track trends in specific plant populations. NICHES pays close attention to the flora present in the habitats we protect and manage. We work hard to provide high quality natural areas that foster rich biodiversity. In order to monitor some of the rare plants that live in the habitats we manage, we are organizing a “Rare Plant Monitoring” program for volunteers. We will train individuals in plant identification, habitat features, and reporting.

Interested in becoming a “Rare Plant Monitor”? Curious about rare plant monitoring and how it will benefit NICHES stewardship efforts? Contact Brooke@nicheslandtrust.org.

Plants monitored during the growing season, so now is the time to connect. Some of the plants we are working to monitor:

Rare plant monitoring follows a structured program of standardized protocols for consistency and accuracy of data. Trained volunteers collect data on the plant population and the conditions of the surrounding habitat. Data collected includes information about the plant such as number of plants, number of blooms, condition of leaves, blooms, seeds. Data also describes management activities, other plants present in the habitat, and other conditions that impact the habitat.  Since the plants monitored are rare, volunteers are also trained in careful access of the plant habitat to protect the population.  The program relies on committed, trained, reliable volunteers who follow-through on data collection.

As a volunteer you develop an understanding of the plant the relationship it shares with the habitat. You also develop a connection with the natural world.

Monitoring populations of rate plants provides data to assess long-term trends as well as in the field observations of conditions. Collected data provides useful information to stewardship managers for land planning and conservation of the ecosystem.

Spring weather and annual cycles

Spring – a time for rain, cool temperature and the rush of growth. What a wonder to witness from the vantage point of a healthy native ecosystem. The spring wildflowers continue to bloom, early starters phasing out and new species reaching peak bloom. Pollinators emerge and transfer pollen from plant to plant enabling cross-pollination and the perpetuation of genetic variety within a species.  Trees of the shrub, understory and canopy layers of the woods are leaving out and with the leaves a decrease to the amount of sun reaching the forest floor, even as the days get longer.

The prairie shows sign of abundant spring growth as well – stalks emerging and leaves expanding. Birds migrate through or return to the native habitats of the area preparing for breeding season and the cycle ever repeats.

NICHES activities follow cycles too: spring tree planting, invasive garlic mustard pulling, and so much more. Another annual event is about to happen – the NICHES Annual Meeting.  Much important business happens at the meeting: board election, annual updates, as well as celebratory elements: a guest speaker presentation by Marc Hudson, photo contest awards given, conversation and connection among members, volunteers, board, staff and community.

Another highlight of the NICHES Annual Meeting – the silent auction. Enter your bid early on key items, like a float on the Sugar Creek led by NICHES Executive Director Gus Nyberg.  Explore the beautiful Sugar Creek – passing through NICHES property Bachner Reserve.

Visit the Silent Auction Advance Bid webpage of NICHES website to make your bid today on a one-of-a-kind guided float on Sugar Creek.

6-29-08_Kayak

NICHES silent auction

NICHES is weeks away from our Annual Meeting, which is both business, celebration, and fund-raiser. We elect board members, review the previous years accomplishments and challenges, share refreshment, host an engaging and renowned local speaker (Marc Hudson, author, this year) and host a silent auction with eclectic and wonderful items.  The evening also affords opportunity to converse with the NICHES community: Executive Director, Stewardship Managers, Bob and Brad, Education and Outreach Coordinator and Executive Assistant, Board of Directors, volunteers and many NICHES Members.

The silent auction, conducted during the Annual Meeting on Thursday May 12, 2016 from 6 – 8 pm at Crawfordsville, IN Carnegie Museum, includes the option to make advance bids on select items via the NICHES Land Trust Website.

For instance, you can place an advance on a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the original Fort Ouiatenon (see Journal Courier Article for story).

Working in collaboration with partner agencies on the project, NICHES role is to restore the lowland native prairie to the site. The tour will provide a hike of the area and insight into the project.

native Indiana prairie

native Indiana prairie

Bids accepted online until 5 pm May 12. After which time folks may continue to bid during the in person silent auction during the NICHES Annual Meeting.  Highest bid will be announced at close of silent auction during the Annual Meeting. If you are not attending the silent auction, and placed the highest bid, we will contact you Friday, May 13th. Payment is required by 5 pm May 13 if you secure and item.

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