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[DNR] Second round of Bicentennial Nature Trust projects approved
Start Date: 11/9/2012Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 11/9/2012End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description
Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman and Congressman Lee Hamilton, co-chairs of Indiana’s Bicentennial Commission, have announced the approval of 12 new Bicentennial Nature Trust projects to the ongoing conservation initiative.
 
The Bicentennial Nature Trust is a statewide program aimed at expanding trails, wetlands and recreation sites to help celebrate Indiana’s 200 years of statehood in 2016. The state park system was created during Indiana’s centennial celebration in 1916, and BNT projects will provide a similar legacy for generations of Hoosiers.

The latest selections total nearly 2,000 acres and include former Gov. Edgar Whitcomb’s secluded retreat on the banks of the Ohio River in Perry County, a 16-acre expansion of Wilderness Park in Blackford County, 140 acres on the Eel River in Miami County, 110 acres at Lake Everett in Allen County, and a 704-acre addition to Yellowwood State Forest.
 
“The Bicentennial Nature Trust initiative continues to accept a wide range of projects to solidify Indiana’s conservation legacy,” Skillman said. “These gifts of forests, trails and wetlands will be accessible to all Hoosiers for many generations.”

Hamilton said: “As we continue moving forward in our plans for the state’s Bicentennial celebration in 2016, it is encouraging to see the level of participation for our first initiative. Hoosiers have taken a strong interest in preserving Indiana acreage and I look forward to their suggestions for future conservation projects.”
 
The BNT projects are awarded through state funding and private donations. The 12 new projects received a total of more than $2.4 million. Projects will continue to be announced until the state fund runs out.
 
BNT was first announced by Gov. Mitch Daniels during his 2012 State of the State Address. Co-chairs Skillman and Hamilton honored the request by starting a statewide campaign to acquire property that protects conservation and recreation areas throughout the state.

The State has increased the amount of public recreational lands by 44,000 acres since 2005. And the Healthy Rivers Initiative (HRI), started in 2009, will add nearly 70,000 acres of river corridors in two areas—Sugar Creek and the Wabash River in west-central Indiana, and Muscatatuck River bottoms in south-central Indiana. Indiana has also quadrupled the amount of land available for conservation under the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program to 26,250 acres.

The State is seeking additional private donations of land and money as well as input from communities on viable projects. Applications for the nature trust can be found at dnr.IN.gov/heritage/7309.htm.

Descriptions of the 12 Bicentennial Nature Trust projects:

Gov. Edgar Whitcomb Nature Park and Retreat (Perry County): A 144-acre secluded retreat on the banks of the Ohio River that will be managed by the DNR Division of State Parks & Reservoirs. The property near Rome is surrounded by the Hoosier National Forest and features three log cabins, limestone and sandstone outcroppings, and cliffs that overlook the Ohio River.
 
DNR Division of State Parks & Reservoirs (Montgomery County): A 359-acre addition to Shades State Park consisting of 262 acres of mature, second-growth hardwood forest and 97 acres of warm-season grass plantings. The tract includes the northern portion of two entrenched ravines that drain into the park and Sugar Creek.

DNR Division of Forestry (Brown County): A 704-acre upland forest with oak, hickory and mixed hardwood trees adjacent to an existing Yellowwood State Forest tract of 490 acres. The site was purchased previously by The Nature Conservancy as part of its Brown County Hills Project.
 
DNR Division of Nature Preserves (Wayne County): A 69-acre tract featuring an upper slope ravine forest and forested bluff with a small pond, springs and agricultural remnants.
 
Whitewater Valley Land Trust (Union and Wayne counties): Purchase of a 167-acre site that contains 120 tillable acres, 47 acres of woodlands, streams, wetlands, and a two-acre gravel and sand beach.

Blackford County Economic Development: The addition of 16 acres to Wilderness Park, increasing the Hartford City park’s size to 40 acres.
 
NICHES Land Trust (Tippecanoe and Warren counties): Purchase of 20 acres on the border of Tippecanoe and Warren counties that includes bluffs 100 feet above the floodplain of the Wabash River. The site lies between NICHES’ Black Rock Nature Preserve and Ross Hills, owned by the Purdue Research Foundation and the Tippecanoe County Parks Department.

Hamilton County Parks and Recreation (Hamilton County): Purchase of a 20-acre wooded parcel that includes a half-acre pond and is documented as the county’s first park.

Unity Foundation of LaPorte County: Purchase of a 2-acre site with 400 feet of shoreline on Pine Lake, a 564-acre lake in LaPorte.

LaGrange County Parks and Recreation: Purchase of a 44-acre site that includes 20 acres of wetland adjacent to Dallas Lake County Park.

ACRES Land Trust (Miami County): Purchase of 140 acres—including 54 acres of forested wetlands—near Chili that contains Flowers Creek and more than 1,000 feet of frontage on the Eel River.

ACRES Land Trust (Allen County): Purchase of 110 forested acres with 1,200 feet of shoreline on Lake Everett, the county’s only natural lake. Included is a two-acre bog that is home to a state-endangered salamander.
Contact Information:
Name: Phil Bloom
Phone: (317) 232-4003
Email: dnrnews@dnr.in.gov
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Entry Type:
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  • IN.gov Category:
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  • Agency Name
    Natural Resources, Indiana Department of

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