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Outdoor Indiana - November/December 2020 - Featured Stories

Sturdy Foundation for DNR
Destinations

Sturdy Foundation for DNR

By Marty Benson, OI staff

The wonder of Indiana Dunes State Park’s marsh captures the attention of third graders from North Judson-San Pierre Elementary School in Starke County during their 2019 field trip funded by a Foundation Give Adventure grant.

The wonder of Indiana Dunes State Park’s marsh captures the attention of third graders from North Judson-San Pierre Elementary School in Starke County during their 2019 field trip funded by a Foundation Give Adventure grant.

Although adventure excites and entices, it’s not often thought of as a gift that can be wrapped up and given.

But you can give it—through the Indiana Natural Resources Foundation (INRF). Give Adventure is the name of one of the INRF’s newest and most impactful initiatives.

Even if you don’t know the INRF, which is entering its fourth decade, you’ve likely benefited from its work. The Foundation celebrates and preserves Indiana’s natural legacy by raising funds to support the DNR and its programs. In other words, the INRF is the official non-profit of the DNR.

But back to adventure.

Give Adventure is a recreation grant program that debuted in 2019. Its first project created two pollinator gardens at Wendell Phillips School 63 in an underserved area of Indianapolis. The grant awarded $10,000 to the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife (DFW), which raised another $14,000.

Jenn Domenech, a DFW outreach specialist who worked on the project, says the goal of creating the gardens was to provide the students and teachers with an outdoor classroom for conservation education. To help make that concept work, DFW staff trained teachers how to use curriculum provided by Project WILD, a nationally recognized conservation education program, in the gardens.

To read the rest of this article subscribe to Outdoor Indiana or pick up a copy at most Barnes and Noble bookstores, and state park inns. To subscribe, click here or call (317) 233-3046.

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Destinations

WINTERLIGHTS AT NEWFIELDS
Making spirits bright in a yuletide setting

Story & Photos by John Maxwell, OI staff

Thousands of lights turn on and off in synchronized waves, appearing to dance with music from the Nutcracker Ballet on the lawn surrounding the old Lilly mansion during Winterlights. Winterlights covers much of Newfields, which comprises the campus, gardens and woods surrounding the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the mansion.

Thousands of lights turn on and off in synchronized waves, appearing to dance with music from the Nutcracker Ballet on the lawn surrounding the old Lilly mansion during Winterlights. Winterlights covers much of Newfields, which comprises the campus, gardens and woods surrounding the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the mansion.

After only three seasons, the Winterlights holiday experience at Newfields has earned a reputation as one of Indiana’s premier holiday traditions.

Winterlight guests can wander in wonderment through acres of artistic holiday-themed light and sound displays, like the whimsical Snowflake Bridge and the trembling Ice Storm Walk, or gaze and relax while thousands of lights dance in synchrony to music from the Nutcracker Ballet on the lawn of the Oldfields Lilly House.

“We definitely believe our guests view Winterlights as a new holiday tradition, with attendance figures rising from 70,000 guests the first year to 120,000 last year,” Newfields’ spokesperson Mattie Wethington said. Wethington also noted a surprise—many guests have turned the event into a romantic location for marriage proposals.

To read the rest of this article subscribe to Outdoor Indiana or pick up a copy at most Barnes and Noble bookstores, and state park inns. To subscribe, click here or call (317) 233-3046.

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