Phil and Joan Ferguson Nature Preserve


A property of fantastic features Ferguson offers rich habitat situated along Kilmore Creek.  The creek hosts mussels, bullfrogs,  minnows and various macro-invertebrate species in its cool spring fed tributaries.

Land along both sides of the creek features an abundant population of Gray’s sedge, which has seed heads that look like medieval maces. Other notable plant species present include American beak grass, several large Pawpaw tree patches (fruit picking is allowed on NICHES lands), rattlesnake fern flowering dogwood, black willow, and bladdernut thickets. Other shrub species include a large stand of swamp rose, elderberry and prickly ash, otherwise known as tooth ache tree.

The shrubby strip in the middle of the property is a great bird habitat with indigo buntings, brown thrashers, yellow breasted chats and orchard orioles present.

History of Acquisition and Property

Jeff Ferguson was introduced to NICHES by founding member, Susan Ulrich. Susan’s conveyed her passion for NICHES’ work and mission and combined with Jeff’s life long passion for the natural world, instilled by his parents, Phil and Joan Ferguson and a long term concern for the land that is his home as well as regard for a wide variety of song birds reliant on habitat access led him to donate 21 acres of land and creek for conservation.

Overview of Management plan

  • Establish and maintain an invasive species presence below 5%

Overall the property has relatively low invasive shrub pressure, which with persistent management will be controlled. Invasives managed at site are reed canary grass, multiflora rose and autumn olive.

  • Preserve a high quality forest habitat along Kilmore Creek

The quality of a stream ecosystem is influenced by the quality of ecosystems bordered by the stream.  By maintaining a natural buffer along the edge of the creek, erosion and pollution of the creek is minimized.

Things to Bring With / Dress Considerations

Dress for exploring outdoors – comfortable all terrain shoes are recommended. Layers help prevent being overheated or chilled. Long pants and long sleeves prevent your skin being exposed to insect bites or plants that cause skin reactions.

A water bottle ensures proper hydration.

A camera enables capturing of stunning natural landscape or nature pictures.

No restroom facilities at the property.

Practice ‘leave no trace’ exploring – if you carry an item on the property, carry it off again, including trash, food wrappers, beverage containers, etc.

Feel free to remove any trash you do find; collaborative effort helps keep properties free of litter.


Local features of interest near the property

Frankfort, IN



Located in Clinton County, Union Township, section 24 at the intersection of 380 N and 180 E

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Phil and Joan Ferguson preserve

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Phil and Joan Ferguson preserve 40.343152, -86.476523 Ferguson Reserve webpage (Directions)