Are you passionate about protecting the natural world? Are you a community builder, leader, and visionary who wants to help guide NICHES' mission into the future? If so, we need you! NICHES Land Trust is searching for an Executive Director to help NICHES fulfill its mission to protect, restore, and sustain Northern Indiana’s diverse ecosystems.
Kent Walters shares the benefits of landscaping with native plants and how to get started. Be a friend to our native wildlife by incorporating native plants into your landscaping.
Members of the Tippecanoe Invasive Cooperative Taskforce (TICT) present information on locally found invasive species and the best way to “knock them out.”
Last year we identified and discussed the woodland wildflowers that bloom in the summer with Dan Childs. This year we explore the many beautiful spring ephemerals in this virtual woodland tour. This will be a good refresher for those wildflower seekers as you plan that first spring hike in the woods.
Another transformative project is underway.
With funding support from the Roy Whistler Foundation, we are working to recover several acres of exceedingly rare sand barrens habitat at our Granville Sand Barrens and Roy Whistler Wildlife Area properties.
This project started in the fall of 2019 with Fecon mowing of thick Amur honeysuckle on the west side of the road which splits the Roy Whistler Wildlife Area. The Fecon work was donated by our friends at Arbor America, who have committed to donating 4 days of forestry mowing with their machine each year. They put in 4 days in the fall of 2019, and another 4 days in early 2020.
NICHES Land Trust sites in the middle Wabash River region were surveyed for the presence of plains leopard frog, a state endangered species, in the summer of 2020. Two sites, Roy Whistler Wildlife Area and Shawnee Bottoms, were found to be home to these rare frogs, and males were detected calling near Pecan Basin, and likely using the site.
Professional artists Dan Annarino, Terry Lacy, Rena Brouwer, and Alan McConnell share how the natural world has inspired their work. Each artist shares specific paintings, photographs, or other works of art inspired by nature and discussed their creative process.
NICHES Land Trust implemented our deer management program in 2010 with one property, Weiler-Leopold. Today, our program includes 32 of our properties totaling just over 2,320 acres. In this presentation, Justin Harmeson, NICHES Land Steward and Staff Lead for this program, shares why this program is an important part of our stewardship activities, how the program is structured, facilitated, and the process for getting involved.
Ninety-six percent of Indiana is privately owned. Landowners are crucial participants in healing and managing the landscape for the benefit of native species. Each landowner managing their land with plants and animals in mind is providing an important piece in the vitality of the broader natural landscape.
“I didn’t have a master plan,” George Parker admitted, “other than I wanted to minimize the amount that I actually had to mow.” In 1971, when George and Mary Lee Parker bought their property, it had been heavily grazed and dominated by blackberry brambles. They immediately planted 1,500 Christmas trees to generate income, working around patches of things George thought were important, and watched as the surrounding flora continued to develop. Fifty years later, the Parker property hosts close to 50 of Indiana’s native tree species, maples fit for tapping, red fox, weasels, flying squirrels, and nesting sites for countless species of birds. Released from the constraints of agricultural management and with a guiding hand, the land has rewilded itself.
This year, 2020, has challenged us to work in new ways. Because the forces degrading natural areas are still at work, we have modified old ways to safely complete work. Please listen to the Black Rock Society 2020 video to see and hear a sample of the work we have been engaged in to lift up the natural heritage of our region.