About NICHES Land Trust

Protecting cherished lands in west-central Indiana and connecting people to nature.

Responsible conservation through collaboration.

Founded in 1995 by a small group of citizens concerned with conservation of natural areas, NICHES actively seeks to protect a broad array of natural areas ranging from small green spaces to pristine nature preserves of high biological integrity.

NICHES is non-adversarial; we work cooperatively with land owners, other nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and various entities.

 

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We Believe

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Native Plants and Animals

The Northern Indiana landscape is home to ecosystems of native plants and animals and should be protected.

The study of our natural resources contributes to our understanding and appreciation of the lands and waters.

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Public Access and Private Landowners

Access to and connection with natural areas and open space improves the quality of people’s lives. People in our region should be able to live among sustainable, healthy, attractive landscapes.

Private landowners have an important role to play in helping to provide larger ecological and social benefits for the local community.

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Stewardship and Sustainability

Fostering an ethic of stewardship for the land and water is an important step to achieving lasting protection of native plants and animals.

The long-term viability of our organization is a critical to achieving our vision so that future generations can enjoy the same quality natural experiences as we do today.

Meet the Staff

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Gus Nyberg

Executive Director

Justin Harmeson

Justin Harmeson

Land Steward

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Bob Easter

Stewardship Manager

Sam Cody

Sam Cody

Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator

Julie Rubsam

Julie Rubsam

Deputy Director

Brett Swann

Brett Swann

Administrative Manager

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Local Mission

We recognize that a strong economy and a continued high quality of life in our area of Indiana is ultimately dependent upon and related to the state of our environment.

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

NICHES serves the following counties:

  • Benton
  • Carroll
  • Cass
  • Clinton
  • Fountain
  • Howard
  • Jasper
  • Montgomery
  • Newton
  • Pulaski
  • Tippecanoe
  • Warren
  • White

 

View NICHES Properties

Why land conservation is important:

Think about all the beauty around us, and what if that were gone? What if the people who come after us didn’t get the chance to walk in the woods, to see the stream, to look at different colors of leaves and flowers? It’s something we have to watch out for. We must protect it.

There are organizations that don’t define conservation like NICHES does. NICHES does it right: they think about always and forever. 

Conservation should be about always and forever.

-- Denise Laussade, Treasurer

Meet the Board

An elected volunteer Board of Directors,
individuals with a variety of professional backgrounds and experiences,
oversees NICHES operations and management.

PRESIDENT
Wes Crawford

VICE PRESIDENT
William Arthur

SECRETARY
Jason Rakoczy

TREASURER
Denise Laussade

 

MEMBERS AT LARGE

Tabb Adams

Jarred Brooke

John Graveel

Trent Hanthorn

Cecelia Harper

Amanda Ingram

Mike Jenkins

Bill McFee

Mike Murr

Roger Scott

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Nonprofit Status

NICHES Land Trust is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. We protect west-central Indiana's native ecosystems and connect people to nature. Federal tax ID: 35-1964901.

Source of Funding

NICHES is not funded by tax dollars and we do not receive support from county, state, or federal government organizations. We rely on the support of people, foundations, businesses and other entities.

NICHES Meaning

Have you ever wondered about the name? NICHES stands for Northern Indiana Citizens Helping Ecosystems Survive. We protect a 'niche here' and a 'niche there' to preserve a high quality of life.

Accredited Land Trust

Through demonstration of fiscal accountability, strong organizational leadership, sound transactions and lasting stewardship, NICHES holds accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.