Central Indiana Land Trust buys 55 acres in Morgan County
Fred and Dorothy Meyer Nature Preserve will be open for public use
Approximately 55 acres of pristine land south of Mooresville between S.R. 67 and Observatory Road will be preserved forever thanks to a generous gift from a retired businessman to the Central Indiana Land Trust.
The Central Indiana Land Trust, which works to conserve and protect natural areas that Hoosiers hold dear, has purchased the 55 acres and will ensure that it is protected from future development and open for public use.
The purchase was made possible by a significant donation from Bob Meyer and his family. The Meyers recommended a grant, from the Robert R. and Gayle T. Meyer Family Fund, a fund of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, toward the purchase. Bob’s father, Fred Meyer, served on the board of the Indiana chapter of The Nature Conservancy and was instrumental in getting the state’s first dedicated Nature Preserve established in 1969. The 55-acre Morgan County property is now part of the Fred and Dorothy Meyer Nature Preserve.
Described as “quintessential Morgan County,” the nature preserve is special for a number of reasons. First, the property is part of the Long Ridge Core Conservation Area and is “core forest” as part of the Land Trust’s Greening the Crossroads plan, a science-based strategic conservation plan that was created with input from stakeholders throughout the region. Second, part of the preserve was already protected by the Land Trust, the 14-acre Shalom Woods that was donated by the Cohen family in the 1990s.
Perhaps even more significant, though, the property includes some of the northernmost region of Indiana that was not covered by glaciers. As a result, the land features ridges unique to the area. Fortunately, while the land has been harvested for timber, the logging was done in a sustainable way and the ridges remain intact.
In addition, the land comprises large forest blocks unbroken by roads and a forest interior habitat that serves as home to rare native species like the hooded and worm-eating warblers, and Eastern Box Turtle, as well as the state endangered cerulean warbler.
“It’s only 20 miles from the heart of Indianapolis, and you can see an endangered species there,” said Bob Meyer.
Not only do rare species live on this land, they are sufficient enough in number to sustain a population of the species.
“That’s especially important because we want to ensure that the land is sustainable and these unique inhabitants are there for many future generations to enjoy,” said Cliff Chapman, conservation director at the Land Trust.
The Land Trust is in the process of creating a pull-off area for parking and installing a sign so that visitors may enjoy the land.
“We’re pleased that the Land Trust will maintain this property and provide it as a natural resource for all of us in Morgan County to use,” said Kenny Hale, Morgan County plan director and president of the County Council.
As part of creating the Fred and Dorothy Meyer Preserve, the Land Trust worked with the Indiana Heritage Trust, which also contributed to the purchase with a grant funded by the sale of environmental license plates. This partnership with the state and the quality of the property will help it become a state-dedicated Nature Preserve. When it is dedicated, it will be one of the more than 220 Nature Preserves in the state that will remain protected forever.
About the Central Indiana Land Trust
Through land protection, stewardship and education, the Central Indiana Land Trust preserves natural areas, improving air and water quality and enhancing life in our communities for present and future generations. It was created in 1990.
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Media contact: Jen Thomas, firstname.lastname@example.org, 317-441-2487
Cliff Chapman, cchapman@ConservingIndiana.org, 317-631-LAND