The new preserve is home to threatened and endangered species and will be open to hikers, bird watchers and nature photographers in the future, according to the release.
“This is the most significant project so far in the Beanblossom Creek Bicentennial Conservation Area,” Sycamore Land Trust’s Director, Christian Freitag, said in the release. “It’s big — over half a square mile — and it’s in a prime location for habitat restoration for bald eagles and other wildlife.”
The new acquisition runs along Beanblossom Creek for more than a mile and is the third largest in Sycamore Land Trust’s 115-year-long history, according to the release.
The land trust protects more than 8,600 acres spread through 26 southern Indiana counties.
Its headquarters are in Bloomington.
Funding for the project came from the Sam Shine Foundation — after which the area will be named — Sycamore Land Trust members and the Bicentennial Nature Trust.
Indiana has allocated $1 million to the Bicentennial Nature Trust to save land for conservation and recreation in honor of Indiana’s 200th anniversary.
Griffy Lake is the southernmost piece of the Beanblossom Creek Bicentennial Conservation Area, which stretches from Lake Lemon on the east to Gosport on the west.
The goal of the project is to connect the nature preserves that already exist in this area, according to the Sycamore Land Trust website.
Sycamore Land Trust’s Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve, first protected in 1995, originally required restoration similar to what the new land parcel needs.
During the past 20 years, Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve’s woods and wetlands have grown healthy again under the land trust’s protection, and bald eagles have nested there for the past seven years.
Agricultural production will continue in the new area for several years while planning and funding continue. The farming will serve to limit the spread of invasive plants before the restoration begins.
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