Justice Farm

Description

Comprised of 104 acres in 2 parcels of land, Justice Farm sits situated along the Wabash River.

Once parcel is consistently dry.  The river bank is steep, yet passable in most places, with flat area along roadside before drop off to river.  Rock outcroppings are evident along the river bank and a natural arch stands stunning to see.  Great Blue herons, kingfishers, Canada geese, various ducks, and bald eagles, along with other avifauna, are often observed.

The other parcel consists of wetland managed as a fen. Merriam-Webster aptly defines a fen as: ” low land that is covered wholly or partly with water unless artificially drained and that usually has peaty alkaline soil and characteristic flora (as of sedges and reeds).”

 

History of Acquisition and Property

Justice Farm, NICHES first property in Cass County, exists thanks to brothers Courtney and David Justice, who, with generosity of spirit and commitment to land protection, donated two parcels. A section is owned by NICHES, and an additional 226 acres under a conservation easement.

One donated parcels is a 1-1/4 mile long strip along the Wabash River between Cass County’s South River Road and the river bank in the vicinity of the Georgetown bridge. The eastern edge of this strip starts at 600 W.

The other  donated parcel (about 22 acres) fronts on County Road 600 W.; its southeast corner is about a quarter-mile north of 225 S.  The parcel comprises a wet area with limestone underlay that NICHES restored and manages as a fen.

Overview of Management plan

  • Preserve a high quality fen habitat
  • Remove invasive species

We removed a large population of invasive Asian honeysuckle, Teasels and Invasive multi-floaral rose from the property. Garlic Mustard removed by hand-pulling efforts.

  • Protect property from misuse or excessive litter

An extensive collaborative volunteer effort to clean-up dumping at Justice Farm resulted in a a powerful positive impact. Links to local newspaper articles tell the story.

Article explaining the  Need for clean-up

Article touting the  Result of Volunteer Effort

We thank the many volunteers who spent their time and energy in making Justice Farm a clean and welcome property to visit.

Notable Species

Kevin Tungesvick sited the following during a March 2003 visit to this property–

Interior wetland (west):

•Asclepias incarnata (Swamp Milkweed)

•Eupatorium maculatum (Spotted Joe-Pye Weed)

•Eupatorium perfoliatum (Boneset)

•Carex trichocarpa (Hairy-Fruited Lake Sedge)

 Wetland near road (east):

•Aster novae-angliae (New England Aster)

•Eupatorium perfoliatum (Boneset)

•Juncus dudleyi (Dudley’s Rush)

•Scirpus atrovirens (Dark Green Bulrush)

•Verbena hasta (Blue Vervain)

 

 Directions

Justice Farm lies in western Cass County, on the south side of the Wabash River from the community of Georgetown.

Most easily reached by:

proceeding north on Carroll County Road 100 E from its intersection with Highway 25 at the east edge of the town of Burrows

The Cass County line sits one mile north of Burrows;  Justice Farm is another 3-1/4 miles north of the county line. You will drive bends in the road, first to the east, then to the west.

NOTE:  NICHES protects most of the Justice Farm acreage (east and south of the road) by a conservation easement, the easement protected property is not open to the public. 

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Justice Farm

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Justice Farm 40.737693, -86.490496 Justice Farm webpage (Directions)

Things to Bring With / Dress Considerations

Dress for exploring the outdoors – comfortable closed-toed shoes are recommended. As a fen is a wetland, wear water-proof or muck boots. 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’ hiking – if you carry an item on the property, carry it off again, including trash, food wrappers, beverage containers, etc.

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